My first two novels, The Istanbul Puzzle and The Jerusalem Puzzle are set mainly in the cities of their titles. I decided to write them because I’ve always enjoyed travelling, seeing other cultures and trying to understand what make them tick.
The Istanbul Puzzle was easier to write because I have been there about a dozen times. What struck me most about the city was how different it was from my preconceptions. We don’t see much in the media about Istanbul, even these days. Whatever we do see is usually about football hooligans or bomb attacks, and it’s usually quite negative.
I had never, for instance, heard anything about Hagia Sophia, the symbol of Istanbul and one of the greatest buildings in the world. What attracted me to Hagia Sopia were the mysteries that still surround it. One mystery I explore in The Istanbul Puzzle is what is underneath it. There have been few underground excavations at Hagia Sophia.