When I started writing Closer to Home it wasn’t really intended to be the first in a series. It was simply a way of telling a story that had been kicking around in my head for a few years. However, I discovered that Kate Fletcher and Dan Hollis had got under my skin and I wanted to develop their characters and their relationship. Before I’d finished Closer to Home I could see a way to develop the characters’ journey using another idea that I’d been working on in various forms for quite a while.
So, Merciless was born. I’m aware that it’s not a traditional police procedural because it’s told from two different perspectives and in two different time periods which eventually come together. An early review suggested that it’s neither strictly crime nor strictly psychological suspense and the reviewer is probably right. But it is a story that I wanted to tell and I wanted to tell it using Kate and Dan and the rest of Kate’s team.
Thorpe is, again, one of the main settings and we return to the Crosslands Estate where Kate was brought up. I’m also still playing around with the theme of the past influencing the present and how historical events can have consequences well into the future.
It’s very odd looking at my Amazon page now and seeing that Merciless is ‘Book 2 of 2 DI Kate Fletcher’. When Forgotten was published two years ago I thought that I might have another couple of stand-alone books in me but I had no idea that I’d be following the same group of characters through at least three stories. Yes, I’m writing a third Kate Fletcher book! This one gives Dan Hollis a much more central role and isn’t focused on Thorpe (at the moment). But all that could change. That’s one of the great things about writing, for me at least – even when I think I have a plan, my characters often have other ideas.