An unethical banker suffocates. A diamond dealer slits his wrists. A media magnate freezes in the snow. A disgraced CEO inhales exhaust fumes. Four unpopular businessmen, four apparent suicides. Until Interpol find the same DNA at each death.
Beatrice Stubbs, on her first real case since ‘the incident’, arrives in Switzerland to lead the investigation. But there’s more to Zurich than chocolate and charm. Potential suspects are everywhere, her Swiss counterpart is hostile and the secretive world of international finance seems beyond the law. Battling impossible odds by day and her own demons at night, Beatrice has never felt so alone.
She isn’t. Someone’s watching.
Someone else who believes in justice.
The poetic kind.
Behind Closed Doors is a fast-paced crime adventure set in Switzerland. It took me five years to write, as it involved a great deal of research into guns, drugs, banking, polo, psychiatry and the city I call my home – Zurich.
It is the first of a series, although each book stands alone as an individual story, and features Detective Inspector Beatrice Stubbs.
Tell us about her.
Beatrice Stubbs is fighting more than just crime. In this book, we discover a little about her past, her problems and how she can be her own worst enemy. Yet she’s a woman of principle and believes in doing her best. She tends to mix her metaphors, indulge her appetites and occasionally lose control of her temper.
Mixes metaphors! As a writer, we know you’ll never commit that crime, but are you similar in any other ways?
Interesting question. On the surface, very little. She’s older, braver and survived far more trials in her life than I have. Yet deep down, something about balancing personal ethics with the compromises forced by daily life rings a sonorous bell.
What genre is this book?
European crime. I purposely avoided an excess of violence and focussed instead on skewed morality. The question is – who is ultimately responsible for justice?
What kind of readers will it appeal to?
Intelligent lovers of crime or literary fiction, anyone with a curiosity for place, readers who enjoy discovering new cultures and those with a dark sense of humour.
Have you written any other books that we should read next?
Yes! The next two in the series, each a standalone adventure, are available now. Raw Material plays out in London and Wales, whereas Tread Softly is set in the Spanish wine country of the Rioja.
Tell us a bit about yourself.
Grew up in Wales, lived in Africa, the Middle East, France, Portugal and now settled in Switzerland.
Like anchovies, David Lynch, languages and snub-nosed canines, but only eat the first on that list.
Dislike chocolate, injustice, dentists and leggings.
Do you have a website where we can keep up with your work?
How can we follow you on Twitter and/or Facebook?
How easily do new storylines come to you? If we give you four random words – Man, Woman, Airport, Darkness – can you give us a brief storyline?
Waiting at Baggage Reclaim, Max gets a phonecall. His birth mother will meet him. She has three conditions: it must be tomorrow, he must speak French, there must be no light. And one further demand: it will be their first and final encounter…
We like that.
What’s next for you?
I’m writing Book Four in the Beatrice Stubbs series, updating The Triskele Trail (the book I published with my author collective – not How-To-Self-Publish, but How-We-Did-It) and having a go at making the Behind Closed Doors audiobook. You can hear a clip here.
Author collective? That sounds interesting, tell us about it.
I’m the creative captain of my own ship. I want to decide on my cover image, the content of my book and how it’s marketed. My choices, my responsibilities, my mistakes.
Along with my colleagues at Triskele Books, our aim is professional quality: writing and design. Teaming up with other indie authors is the best decision I ever made.