Friday, 28 April 2017

BEST OF CRIME with Jane Isaac

Welcome to my latest BEST OF CRIME feature, looking at crime writers' top picks, from their favourite author and fictional detective to their best writing tip. 

Today I'm delighted to welcome 


before her The Lies Within blog tour

to share her BEST OF CRIME ... 

Jeffery Deaver. I’m captivated by the powers of deduction and methods employed by his Lincoln  Rhyme character. It was novels like The Empty Chair that sparked my interest in contemporary police procedurals and eventually inspired me to write this genre myself.

The Talented Mr Ripley (based on the novel by Patricia Highsmith). It’s unusual for a film to be as good as a book, but the movie adaptation managed to re-create Highsmith’s creepy depiction of a serial killer against the Mediterranean backdrop perfectly for me. 

The Bridge (created by Hans Rosenfeldt). I love strong characters and find the lead of Saga Noren, the Swedish police detective, both intriguing and fascinating. 

Tony Soprano, the mob boss from The Sopranos. While his methods of torture and killing are deeply disturbing, there is a real sense of humanity and normality to parts of his daily life which left me both feeling sorry for him and rooting for him at times. Bizarre! 

I would have to go back to my roots and the early detectives that lured me into the genre here, and Conan Doyle’s Sherlock Holmes comes out top, every time. A good detective character, for me, is someone who not only employs particular observational skills and excellent logical reasoning, but who is also enigmatic. Holmes has these skills in abundance and while the novels have been brilliantly adapted, many times over the years, the character never loses these essential traits. 

A leg of lamb. In Roald Dahl’s A Lamb to the Slaughter, a wife kills her police detective husband by hitting him over the head with a frozen leg of lamb. Afterwards she cooks the lamb and when investigators arrive (who are friends of her husband), she is interviewed and later offers them the roast lamb for dinner which, after a long shift, they eventually accept. They eat the lamb while discussing the murder weapon. 

Dexter Morgan (created by Jeff Lindsay), a blood spatter expert who also doubles up as a vigilante serial killer. He tracks down serious criminals, takes them to a scene that has been forensically  prepared to leave no trace, kills them, chops them up and then dumps them into the ocean off the back of his boat called ‘Slice of Life’. 

I don’t have any specific websites I check on a regular basis, it really depends on what I’m researching at the time. This week’s internet history mainly focuses on the subjects of entomology and asphyxiation. Nice! 

One of the best tips I have been given was to keep a diary of research notes for each book – places visited, people interviewed etc. – so that facts can be double checked after the first draft is complete. It generally takes me about a year to write a novel and, without this, often small details would get forgotten along the way. 

I’m a huge tea drinker when writing generally. I loathe copy-editing and need lots of treats such as Haribo (Starmix is my favourite) as I go along, and a huge glass of wine when I’m finished.

Jane Isaac lives with her husband and daughter in rural Northamptonshire, UK where she can often be found trudging over the fields with her Labrador, Bollo. An Unfamiliar Murder, her first novel, marked the start of the DCI Helen Lavery series and was nominated as best mystery in the 'eFestival of Words Best of the Independent eBook awards 2013.' The follow up, The Truth Will Out, was nominated as ‘Thriller of the Month – April 2014’ by
In June 2015, Jane released Before It’s Too Late, the first in the DI Will Jackman series set in Stratford upon Avon. It was followed by Beneath the Ashes in November 2016. In May 2017, the third in the series, The Lies Within, will be published by Legend Press. 

Find Jane Isaac on her website, FB page and on Twitter - @JaneIsaacAuthor


Publisher's description
Be under no illusions by her kind face and eloquent manner… This woman is guilty of murder.
Grace Daniels is distraught after her daughter's body is found in a Leicestershire country lane. With her family falling apart and the investigation going nowhere, Grace's only solace is the re-emergence of Faye, an old friend who seems to understand her loss.
DI Will Jackman delves into the case, until a family tragedy and a figure from his past threaten to derail him.

When the police discover another victim, the spotlight falls on Grace. Can Jackman find the killer, before she is convicted of a crime she didn't commit?

The Lies Within is being published by Legend Press on 2 May 2017. 

Look out for more BEST OF CRIME features coming soon.

Click here to read more BEST OF CRIME features.

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