Blog Tour: Perfect Death by Helen Fields

by - February 08, 2018

The new release you need to read from the 2017 crime thriller bestseller.

‘Without doubt, this is one of the best detective series I have read.’ - Woman’s Way Magazine 

Your new addiction starts here: get hooked on the #1 bestselling series. Perfect for fans of Karin Slaughter and M.J. Arlidge.

Published: 25th January 2018, Avon Books

About the book:

There’s no easy way to die…

Unknown to DI Luc Callanach and the newly promoted DCI Ava Turner, a serial killer has Edinburgh firmly in his grip. The killer is taking his victims in the coldest, most calculating way possible – engineering slow and painful deaths by poison, with his victims entirely unaware of the drugs flooding their bloodstream until it’s too late.

But how do you catch a killer who hides in the shadows? A killer whose pleasure comes from watching pain from afar? Faced with their most difficult case yet, Callanach and Turner soon realise they face a seemingly impossible task…

Before your head off to get your hands on a copy - or do rush off and buy it, but pop back - here's a little treat... a guest post from Helen Fields herself!!

Writing Crime a.k.a. Taking Your Brain to the Gym

I’m not a huge fan of the gym. Too many muscles on display making me feel inadequate, all those flat stomachs, and breathing in slightly sweaty air. Not my thing, but writing crime is nothing less than a marathon for the grey matter. Someone I know keeps insisting that I write horror books. I’ve explained that it’s crime, but he either forgets or regards it all as one large category that involves blood. Let me just be clear. I love horror and suspense. I grew up on it, was inspired by it, and YES my books contain a healthy dose of all things scary and horrific. But there’s no fantasy get out clause. No one can magically, mystically appear through the ceiling, or travel through dreams. Dead people cannot awaken and suck your blood. This is why, whilst horror books might provide the ultimate sleep-with-the-lights-on thrill, crime writing constitutes (in my humble opinion) a more complex plotting undertaking.

In common with all books, you need a basic premise, characters and a setting. Your characters need goals (and the accompanying setbacks). On top of that, though, are a series of challenges faced uniquely by crime writers. You have to be up to date with forensics, police procedure, a little law. You need a good grasp of technology and how it affects our every day lives including the ways in which it hampers or helps police investigations. And crucially this. A crime writer must construct a crime that might actually happen, then build a way for the police to figure out what happened, why, how and by whom. You cannot suddenly invent new technologies that are unrealistic. Evidence/answers falling into your characters’ laps is unforgivable. It requires a blend of investigation, deduction and clever application of lines of investigation. It must make sense, be plausible, yet maintain storyline tension and there still have to be some surprises left for the reader!

This is why those tasked with editing crime have such an onerous task. They’re not just checking the writers’ words, spelling, consistency or overall structure. They’re ensuring that the exhibit from the murder scene fits with the description of the wound given by the pathologist. The timeline is always crucial. The victim’s and witness’s testimony has to be either the same, or deliberately different for relevant plot purposes. The devil really is in the details, because there are enough people out there with a good grasp of forensics and policing that every single mistake gets called out. There are days when I’m trying to knit together so many strands of evidence and plot that the task becomes almost intimidating, but it’s worth it in the end. A cleverly revealed perpetrator, a twist you didn’t see coming but which makes perfect sense, that whodunnit moment, are worth every headache and crossing out. Not only that, but it genuinely does burn calories.

Thank you so much to Helen Fields for stopping by on my blog today. I found this particularly insightful as I am currently trying to start my first novel and although I had originally planned a good drama novel, my plot is definitely evolving into something a lot more criminal. This has given me so much to think about in starting my writing process. I'm sure it has done the same for you, or in the least given you an insight into just how much goes into writing a crime novel.

Chat soon beautifuls,

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