Today, I am pleased to be part of the Blog Tour promoting Claire McGowan’s New book, The Silent Dead. Claire has kindly written a piece on The Crime of Fashion. Please sit back and read on.
A Crime of Fashion
I love reading books that are full of vivid detail. Jilly Cooper is brilliant at this, for example – she’ll always tell you what brand of clothes the character is wearing, what fabric it’s made of and what colour it is. She’ll let you taste the food they’re eating (Pimm’s and smoked salmon feature heavily), smell the perfume, and rather than say why a character is gorgeous, she’ll show you the exact colour of their eyes and shape of their cheekbones.
But when it comes to crime fiction, is there a place for descriptions of clothes and food and even landscape? I find that my poor characters don’t often get to enjoy a meal or a view, as they’re always rushing around trying to save lives and stop killers. A snatched ham sandwich is about the best they manage (although cups of tea are in abundance; it is Ireland after all). And there’s little point in them having nice clothes when for a start it’s always raining in Ballyterrin (the fictional Irish town where my books are set), or else they’re having to go to crime scenes in bogs, in the snow, or in muddy fields. I even mention that the main character, Paula Maguire, keeps wellies in her car in case she has to go to crime scenes.
I often wonder if I should describe Paula’s clothes a bit more, but she doesn’t seem that bothered what she wears. She spends a lot of time in the books either in some kind of danger, or pregnant (or both), and she tends to just throw on jeans and a cardigan for the office. She does notice what other people wear – sharp suits or pretty dresses- but she can’t quite get organised enough to do the same herself, and her long red hair is always messy. Now that I’m on the fifth book, which will also feature a lot of bad weather (hey, it’s Ireland!), she’s unlikely to develop a sudden burning interest in fashion. Even buying her wedding dress proved a bit of a chore. So while I love reading other people’s books if they’re full of rich detail, in Ballyterrin it seems the characters don’t have a lot of time for the finer things in life!
ABOUT THE BOOK
Release Date: Out Now
Victim: Male. Mid-thirties. 5’7″.
Cause of death: Hanging. Initial impression – murder.
ID: Mickey Doyle. Suspected terrorist and member of the Mayday Five.
The officers at the crime scene know exactly who the victim is.
Doyle was one of five suspected bombers who caused the deaths of sixteen people.
The remaining four are also missing and when a second body is found, decapitated, it’s clear they are being killed by the same methods their victims suffered.
Forensic psychologist Paula Maguire is assigned the case but she is up against the clock – both personally and professionally.
With moral boundaries blurred between victim and perpetrator, will be Paula be able to find those responsible? After all, even killers deserve justice, don’t they?
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Claire McGowan grew up in a small village in Northern Ireland. After a degree in English and French from Oxford University she moved to London and worked in the charity sector. THE FALL is her first novel, which is followed by a series starring forensic psychologist Paula Maguire in The Lost and The Dead Ground.