Wednesday, 4 February 2015

Guest Post: Introducing Scarred for Life by Kerry Wilkinson

It's only been in the last couple of years that I have started reading crime novels again, a genre I loved reading as a teen, and one of the series I keep meaning to start reading when I see the next book being published is the Jessica Daniel series by Kerry Wilkinson.  

But as I like to read a series from the beginning to see the development of characters, I have some catching up to do as the ninth book in the series Scarred for Life has just been published so maybe that can be my challenge to myself later in the year when my redundancy eventually comes through.... 

Kerry has kindly written a guest piece for the blog introducing Scarred for Life.

Fictional detectives get away with a lot of things. That includes going against authority, working outside of rules, guidelines and often the law itself. Between the pages of a crime novel, that’s all fun and games until someone actually gets hurt. Scarred for Life is my latest Jessica Daniel book and, perhaps for the first time, it’s about consequences.

It begins with a young rower who ends up in a wheelie bin at the back of his team’s clubhouse. Jessica suspects he might have been ‘hazed’ by his fellow members – but proving it isn’t so easy. She’s been broadly allowed to do her own thing for a while and I wanted to flip that around to show there are side-effects to that freedom.

Within that, there are hopefully still plenty of familiar things for old and new readers. The series has always been about the people around her, rather than just Jessica herself. There are complaints over canteen food, debates over who should make the hot drinks and how many chips you can get for a fiver.

I try to include all that stuff because I’ve worked in offices and that’s the sort of thing people gabble about in between doing all the actual work. Well, either that or it’s just me, which admittedly it could be.

It’s also about ageing. Back in the first Jessica book, she was a little, ahem, abrupt. Now she’s older, in charge of people and she has to be the one with the sensible head. She’s watching the younger constables coming through and wondering if she should pull them up for the things she used to get away with. I like that she’s matured – it feels as if I’ve moulded a character, rather than repeated the same old tricks.

I’ve often thought it’d be easy to write the same book over and over. Change a few names, perhaps the location, and the formula for writing a crime book could be repeated again and again. I really try not to do that, wanting each Jessica novel instead to be a slice of a person’s life who works as a police officer, rather than a straight story about a specific crime.

Hopefully Scarred For Life achieves that.

The Jessica Daniel series in order and Amazon links:

Locked In: Kindle or Paperback
Vigilante: Kindle or Paperback
As If By Magic: Kindle exclusive
The Woman in Black: Kindle or Paperback
Think of the Children: Kindle or Paperback
Playing With Fire: Kindle or Paperback
Thicker than Water: Kindle or Paperback
Behind Closed Doors: Kindle or Paperback
Crossing The Line: Kindle or Paperback
Scarred for Life: Kindle or Paperback  

About Kerry
Despite two national newspaper reports to the contrary, Kerry Wilkinson is male. Honestly.

His debut, LOCKED IN, the first in the detective Jessica Daniel series, is a UK no.1 Kindle bestseller, with the first three Jessica Daniel books making him Amazon UK's top-selling author for the final quarter of 2011.

THINK OF THE CHILDREN came out in February 2013, outselling Dan Brown to become Amazon UK's no.1 Kindle pre-order. Kerry is the first formerly self-published British author to have an ebook no.1 and reach the top 20 of the UK paperback chart.

Since then, the Jessica Daniel series has continued with PLAYING WITH FIRE, THICKER THAN WATER, BEHIND CLOSED DOORS and CROSSING THE LINE. 

A spin-off from PLAYING WITH FIRE - the Andrew Hunter series - started with SOMETHING WICKED in 2014.

Pan Macmillan (Griffin in the US) are also publishing Kerry's young adult/fantasy/adventure series - the Silver Blackthorn trilogy. The first book, RECKONING, was released in 2014, with RENEGADE following in 2015.

He is an occasional sports journalist and can frequently be spotted cycling the hills of Lancashire while trying not to be knocked off. He was born in Somerset but now lives in the north west. 

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