Wednesday, 5 April 2017

BEST OF CRIME with Sanjida Kay

Welcome to my 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 


to share her BEST OF CRIME ... 

Gillian Flynn is one of the best psychological thriller writers around. The plot of Gone Girl is an incredible jigsaw puzzle of twists and reversals, the characters are Machiavellian and the prose is pitch-perfect. Flynn’s previous novel, Sharp Objects, doesn’t have such a rollercoaster plot, but it’s much edgier with a searing twist that took my breath away: perfect American deep South gothic-noir.

Minority Report. For me this is the perfect combination of sci-fic, thriller, philosophical conundrum and crime. It’s set in 2054: there are no murders because the police’s PreCrime unit arrest criminals before they can commit a crime. The film asks if you could predict the future, can there ever be free will? I used the screenplay by Scott Frank and Jon Cohen as inspiration for the dialogue in my final scene in my first thriller, Bone by Bone.

Whether you love it or hate, I think Vince Gilligan created the perfect screenplay for Breaking Bad. It was horribly addictive! I also love Richard Warlow’s Ripper Street, set in Victorian London with Edmund Reid as the troubled detective. The characters and the plot are complex and the writing is brilliant. As fellow police officer, Benet Drake says:
And is that not you all over, Mr. Reid? Your fevered eyes once more burning through the deceit of the world, in the hope that you might, at last, uncover its black mechanics. And there, perhaps, is the difference between you and I. I chose this work because I believe... in my dull simplicity... that the inequities of this life might be checked. But you... well, I've come to believe that you choose them in the hope that they may never cease. For what then, Edmund Reid? What then for that restless soul of yours? 


Dr Hannibal Lecter in The Silence of the Lambs. A lethal combination of erudition, intelligence and evil. 

Jackson Brodie in Kate Atkinson’s Case Histories, played by Jason Isaacs in the BBC drama series. I’m a bit of a sucker for ex-soldiers with an overabundance of empathy who drink too much and run too much and are generally quite dysfunctional. I might just fancy him. Just a little bit. 

Lily of the Valley berries used to poison a child in Breaking Bad. This idea, of something common, beautiful and deadly, was the inspiration behind a potentially murderous plot twist in my latest thriller, The Stolen Child.

[Spoiler alert - for The Kind Worth Killing

In Peter Swanson’s The Kind Worth Killing, the protagonist is shot. That is pretty shocking: I mean, you don’t normally bump off your main protagonist, who’s telling you the story in the first person, a third of the way through the book. Shocking, but bold.

Plan, write every day and edit. As Ernest Hemingway says, ‘The only kind of writing is rewriting. 

Coffee and dark chocolate!

Sanjida Kay has a PhD on chimpanzees and has had nine books published. She has also written features and columns for national newspapers and magazines about science and the environment, directed science documentaries and presented wildlife programmes for the BBC.
Four of her books are novels and she’s won some awards for her writing. Her fifth novel, Bone by Bone, is a psychological thriller published by Corvus Books. It went straight into the Amazon kindle best-selling list. The Stolen Child is another psychological thriller.
She lives in Bristol with her husband, Jaimie, and her daughter, who is five and wants to be a writer-palaeontologist.

Find Sanjida Kay on her website and on Twitter - @SanjidaKay


Publisher's description
Zoe and Ollie Morley tried for years to have a baby and couldn't. They turned to adoption and their dreams came true when they were approved to adopt a little girl from birth. They named her Evie.
Seven years later, the family has moved to Yorkshire and grown in number: a wonderful surprise in the form of baby Ben. As a working mum it's not easy for Zoe, but life is good.
But then Evie begins to receive letters and gifts.
The sender claims to be her birth father.
He has been looking for his daughter.

And now he is coming to take her back...

The Stolen Child is being published by Corvus on 6 April 2017.

Look out for more BEST OF CRIME features coming soon.

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1 comment:

  1. A PhD on chimpanzees? Wow! A book in the making there I would say.