‘A gripping tale, beautifully told, and with a shocking twist. A pitch perfect evocation of time and place. Unputdownable’
Frances Brody, author of the Kate Shackleton Mysteries
What sort of psychological thriller do you like?
I love a good twisty, turny, gets-under-your-skin type of suspense rather than an all-out thriller. I think Rebecca has to be my favourite of all time.
I’m interested in characters who are pretty ordinary on the face of it, but, when tested will do whatever it takes. So I love Patricia Highsmith novels. It’s that: What would I do in that situation? I find fascinating. Because none of us really know. There’s a criminal in all of us quite possibly!
What makes a book in this genre stand out?
For me it’s two things: brilliant writing, and coming at it from a slightly different angle. So other favourites are Room, Girl on the Train, Notes on a Scandal, The Lovely Bones, The Woman Next Door. In this ludicrously overcrowded market, and given that there are apparently only seven basic stories to be told, you have to write one that sets itself apart.
You come from a scriptwriting background…
Yes. So I think that helps me think visually and is a good discipline. I love strong female characters. My favourite film is Thelma and Louise. And Sally Wainwright’s Happy Valley is just brilliant TV.
So tell us about Losing Juliet
When an old friend gets in touch, the past is painfully reawakened and unlocks a dangerous truth, putting one mother in an impossible position as her daughter demands to know more. Her quest for the truth gathers a momentum which, in the end, no one can control. And what will happen once it’s out there?