What makes a strong central character in a crime novel?
He feels a duty of care to the victims of the crimes he investigates and often feels like he’s the only person looking out for them; the only one who can bring the guilty to justice so that the dead can rest. No one cared about him when he was a child; he won’t let that happen to anyone else.
Living on board his small yacht in Southsea Marina since his estrangement from his wife following a gross misconduct charge ) of which he was innocent) TIDE OF DEATH (1) the sailing detective is a man rarely at peace, unless he is on the sea or fighting crime. Raised in children's homes after his mother abandoned him as a child he has a desperate need to belong and yet is always on the outside. Being alone is his greatest fear, yet he is alone.
These are not the main strands of the novels - fifteen now in the series - but they are the things that have shaped Andy Horton and make him what he is and therefore this affects his decisions and his interactions with his colleagues and the villains.
For me it is also important to write the stories I like to read, which is crime and thriller novels which have good strong characters and an intriguing and often complex plot that stimulates 'the little grey cells'. I don't do gratuitous violence and I don't write hard boiled crime. That isn't to say there aren't gory bits in my novels but I am not out to shock simply to entertain, excite and intrigue. Quite a tall order!
But perhaps to some degree I hopefully achieve this as readers often ask me questions about my flawed and rugged detective's troubled personal life: will Andy get back with his wife, Catherine? Will Catherine grant him greater access to their young daughter, Emma? Will Andy discover the truth about his mother's disappearance? Is his mother, Jennifer, alive or dead? And can't Andy's nit picking boss, DCI Lorraine Bliss disappear somewhere...before Andy throttles her!!
What drives Inspector Ryga in the 1950s set mystery series?
experience at sea, and as a prisoner-of-war, has made him unique in his
approach to solving coastal based crimes. He's observant, analytical
and reflective. He's witnessed compassion, cruelty, cowardice and
heroism, mental breakdown and despair. He’s made a promise to himself
that whatever happens after the war he’ll keep an open mind and never
Whereas Ryga is quiet, reflective, analytical, Eva is very self-assured. She’s forthright, sociable, and comfortable in her own skin, professional with a successful career, a formidable reputation behind her, along with a taste for danger. Her observations seen through the lens of her camera are disturbing, enlightening and thought provoking.They make a formidable team - villains beware!