Death’s Silent Judgement – Anne Coates Q&A
Today I am delighted to host the latest leg of the blog tour for Death’s Silent Judgement. It is a thrill to welcome Anne Coates to Grab This Book – Anne has kindly agreed to answer a few of my questions about her new thriller.
Before we get to my questions here is a quick look at Death’s Silent Judgement:
Death’s Silent Judgement is the thrilling sequel to Dancers in the Wind, and continues the gripping series starring London-based investigative journalist Hannah Weybridge. The series is very much in the best traditions of British women crime writers such as Lynda La Plante and Martina Cole. Following the deadly events of Dancers in the Wind, freelance journalist and single mother Hannah Weybridge is thrown into the heart of a horrific murder investigation when a friend, Liz Rayman, is found with her throat slashed at her dental practice. With few clues to the apparently motiveless crime Hannah throws herself into discovering the reason for her friend s brutal murder, and is determined to unmask the killer. But before long Hannah’s investigations place her in mortal danger, her hunt for the truth placing her in the path of a remorseless killer…
First question is never an actual question, could I ask that you introduce yourself and give us a quick overview of Death’s Silent Judgement?
Thank you, Gordon. I’m Anne Coates, live in south London and have always worked in publishing/journalism. My seven non-fiction books have concentrated on parenting and education, plus I have also published short stories. Death’s Silent Judgement, my second crime thriller, begins with the murder of a dentist giving free treatment to the homeless in Waterloo. What seems a motiveless crime turns ever more sinister as Hannah Weybridge follows leads that eventually put her own life in danger.
Death’s Silent Judgement sees the return of Hannah Weybridge – Hannah also appeared in Dancers in the Wind. For new readers could you outline something of Hannah’s background?
Love to. Hannah, in her mid-30s, is a single parent and freelance journalist. Previously she had a staff job on a woman’s magazine. When we meet her in 1993, she is struggling financially but has recently been commissioned to write for a national newspaper. In some ways she is isolated – an only child whose parents have just moved to France – and as a single parent and therefore is vulnerable. Almost by accident she begins to investigate crimes.
In Dancers there were prostitutes disappearing, their battered bodies subsequently found. Now in Death’s Silent Judgement Hannah is investigating why her friend may have been murdered. Hannah is a journalist but could both stories have been told with Hannah as a police officer? I wondered if her being an investigative journalist gives you more scope or, perhaps, you decided that you didn’t want to write a “cop” thriller?
I think both books would have been totally different if Hannah had been a police officer. It is because she isn’t a law enforcer that she can tread more varied paths when she’s digging for information. She isn’t answerable to anyone – except her editor. She also makes mistakes and is naïve at times and takes risks. I’m not saying that a police officer wouldn’t be similar but the whole premise would be different. There are police procedurals where an officer goes “off piste” but that is often more difficult to justify.
After I wrote Dancers in the Wind, many years ago, I went straight on to write the first three chapters of Death’s Silent Judgement so, yes my intention has always been that she would feature in more than one book.
Are you a crime fiction reader? I am often surprised at how many authors say they tend not to read crime novels or thrillers.
I’ve always read crime novels –who hasn’t read Agatha Christie? I love Wilkie Collins, a contemporary of Dickens, and one of my early favourites was Minette Walters so it was interesting to read that she’s written a new book after a long hiatus but has given up on crime. Twitter has introduced me to a whole range of new crime authors and I particularly like police procedurals although I’m not sure I’d ever write one. I am amazed at the range within the crime/thriller genre. People are often snobbish about what they call “genre” fiction. If it’s a good read, category shouldn’t matter.
Leaving aside the element of commercial success, which book (or books) have you read which made you think – “I’d have loved to have had that idea” or “I wish I’d written that”?
Recently I read and was totally bowled over by Sealskin by Su Bristow. It’s beautifully written and totally engrossing.
I love going to the cinema and theatre. We have a local Picturehouse, only a few minutes’ walk away which is an interesting place to go to apart from the films. I nearly always bump into friends there. Theatre is a luxury but I am sometimes offered press tickets and I belong to a theatre club, which gets comps from time to time. Meeting up with friends for a meal or a drink is always high on my list of distractions.
One last question, dare we ask if there is a new project underway or are you taking some time to enjoy releasing Death’s Silent Judgement into the hands of us eager readers?
No rest for the wicked – I am currently halfway through the first draft of a new Hannah Weybridge thriller – so a long way to go yet and I need a title. I’m also toying with writing something completely different in the first person and at some stage I’d like to explore a character who haunts me, crying out for her story to be written.
Thank you very much for inviting me to be cross-examined on your blog!
My thanks to you Anne I had fun coming up with the questions and loved your answers.
Death’s Silent Judgement is published by Urbane Publications and is available now in both paperback and digital format. You can order a copy here: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Deaths-Silent-Judgement-Hannah-Weybridge/dp/1911331353/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1495055776&sr=1-1&keywords=deaths+silent+judgement