Just a few days to go now before the release of The Scent of Guilt, the sequel to Bad to the Bone, featuring Peterborough-based detectives Bliss and Chandler.
I am as anxious about this one as I was back in April last year when my first book was published – maybe even more so. Back then I had the benefit of being a completely unknown, coming in with few expectations and zero readership. This time there are expectations, both from myself and readers, and that ratchets up the nerves all the way to eleven.
My previous three books are all very different. Bad to the Bone is a police procedural/crime thriller, Degrees of Darkness a dark, psychological and twisted thriller, whilst Scream Blue Murder is pure escapism straight out of the action-adventure crime sub-genre. In bringing back characters from my first novel I feel that what I have also done here is include elements of all three previous books. There is still the procedural investigation, there are twisted psychopaths, and there is action and some adventure. I feel that I have been able to distil everything I have learned about writing so far and squeeze it into The Scent of Guilt. It also happened naturally, without any conscious desire to inject those aspects from previous books. I think that’s the way it works best, rather trying to shoehorn something in.
Of course I hope readers enjoy it. Moreover, I hope they see an improvement – whether in plot, dialogue, characterisation, or better still a combination of every aspect – because I want to improve as a writer and reach my full potential. Whatever that may be. Ultimately, it will be a huge relief to finally have it out there, and I hope it does what it says on the tin.
The Scent of Guilt is available to order now, and is published on Saturday 17 February 2018.