Monday, 28 July 2008

My next book

I’m thrilled to say that a project that has meant a great deal to me is now close to fruition. Around October (the precise date is yet to be finalised) my next novel is due to come out. It’s called Dancing for the Hangman and it is very different from all my other novels.

Dancing for the Hangman is a crime story, yes, but with a difference. It’s the story of the life (and death) of Dr Hawley Harvey Crippen. The Crippen case has fascinated me for a decade or so – Nic Gabriel, the protagonist of my earlier stand-alone suspense novel, himself wrote a non-fiction book about it. I decided to go one better, and write a work of fiction which nevertheless (and this is the crucial point, and the reason why I believed it to be a worthwhile enterprise) sought to respect all the known facts.

It’s a story with a sort of twist in the tail, and in some crucial respects it offers a fresh interpretation of the case. But it’s not a ‘whodunit’ in the same way as the Harry Devlin series and the Lake District Mysteries are whodunits. It’s not a book which fits easily into an obvious pigeon-hole – in some ways, it belongs to the mainstream fiction as much as genre. But I deliberately set out to write a book that didn’t fit into an obvious category. I'm proud of the end result and I hope that, even though it is different, readers will enjoy it as much as I enjoyed writing it.

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