Saturday 14 February 2009


Valentine’s Day. A day for romance. And a good day for a massacre, too. The eternal themes of love and death run alongside each other in much crime fiction. They are certainly at the heart of my own work, and have been from the beginning.

On the very first page of my very first book, All the Lonely People, Harry Devlin comes home to find his estranged wife Liz watching a Woody Allen film. And the film, naturally, is Love and Death. Heavy symbolism, huh? Soon poor old Liz is dead herself, and Harry has to find her killer.

I remember, incidentally, receiving the page proofs of that first book. It should have been a great moment, but I became miserable when I re-read the opening pages. I felt I’d achieved a great ambition in getting published – but felt depressed that the book wasn’t as good as I had hoped it would be. Looking back, I think I was too hard on myself, or perhaps simply too emotional about it. The book really did very well, and although I’d write it differently today, when I glance at it now, the story does seem at least to have a real energy about it, as well as a bit of heart.

I don’t think it’s giving too much away too soon to mention that my current work-in-progress, The Serpent Pool, involves a murder committed on Valentine’s Day. And needless to say, this turns out not merely to be an accident of the calendar…

1 comment:

Cahya said...

That's an interesting article.