Wishing a very happy publication day to author Michael Wood whose debut thriller For Reasons Unknown has hit UK e-tailers today! Some seriously shining reviews have already been rolling in from early readers, and we are pleased to have Michael following up his Q&A from last week with a little more background behind his new novel.
Meet Detective Inspector Matilda Darke. A brilliant and intelligent detective who heads up the fictional Murder Investigation Team of South Yorkshire Police. However, circumstances beyond her control have caused her to suffer a crisis of confidence and she is no longer the much-respected detective she used to be. She has a massive fight on her hands to claw her way back up to the top, and she has to ask herself the question: is it worth it?
For Reasons Unknown is set in Sheffield: a city in the north of England which is a character in itself. On the edge of the wonderful Peak District countryside, and boasting more trees than people, Sheffield is a former industrial city going through a period of regeneration. There are many diverse areas of varying degrees of affluence, and a wide variety of people drawn from different religious and cultural backgrounds. As a huge fan of British crime fiction, I cannot think of a better city in which to set a series of crime novels.
I have been a fan of crime fiction for as long as I can remember and I am very proud of my ever-growing collection. For me, British writers are the best in the world, though writers from the Nordic countries are quickly gaining on us. I could bore you for hours with my favourite authors and novels, but I won’t. A select few of my favourite writers are: Minette Walters, Val McDermid, Peter Robinson, Peter James, Mark Billingham, Reginald Hill, Ian Rankin, Stuart MacBride,
James Oswald, Michael Robotham, Belinda Bauer, Elly Griffiths, Alex Marwood, Sarah Hilary – sorry, I did say I wouldn’t go on but it was very difficult to stop. I’m going to quickly throw in the grand dames of crime fiction too: Agatha Christie, Ruth Rendell and P D James. It would be criminal not to.
My career as a journalist has given me a front row seat to crimes of murder and manslaughter on the streets of South Yorkshire. I was always fascinated by people running to talk to the journalist to give their own version of what they witnessed and their frank thoughts on who the perpetrator might be. Covering court cases was eye-opening and gave me ideas for stories and characters. Maybe one day I will write a book with a journalist as the protagonist but for now, DCI Matilda Darke is my leading lady, and my best friend.