Lovely Sheryl Browne, author of After She’s Gone, the first in the DI Matthew Adams books, is a regular visitor to Linda’s Book Bag and an author I love spending time with in person so I’m delighted to welcome her back today to talk about the questions that run through her head whilst writing psychological thrillers.
Published by Death by Choc Lit, Sheryl’s latest book, After She’s Gone, is the first in the DI Matthew Adams thrillers and is available for purchase here. There’s a smashing short video trailer for the series you might like to watch here.
After She’s Gone
He’s killed your child and kidnapped your wife. What would YOU do?
There’s evil and then there’s Patrick Sullivan. A drug dealer, pimp and murderer, there are no depths to which Patrick would not sink, and Detective Inspector Matthew Adams has found this out in the most devastating way imaginable.
When Patrick’s brother is shot dead in a drug bust gone wrong, the bitter battle between the two men intensifies, and Matthew finds it increasingly difficult to hold the moral high ground. All he wants is to make the pimping scum suffer the way he did … the way Lily did.
But being at war with such a depraved individual means that it’s not just Matthew who’s in danger. Patrick has taken a lot from Matthew, but he hasn’t taken everything – and now he wants everything.
The Method behind the Murders
A Guest Post by Sheryl Browne
Hi Linda! Thank you for featuring me on Linda’s Book Bag to share a little bit about After She’s Gone – Book 1 in the DI Matthew Adams thrillers.
I’m often asked whether I prefer writing psychological thriller to contemporary romance. The answer is, I write the story according to where the characters lead me. I’ve always been fascinated by what shapes people and whatever genre I write in I like to strip away the layers and, hopefully, share with readers a little of what lies beneath the surface. A writer’s mind thrives on exploration. Every scenario, every face, every place tells a story. A glimpsed situation, an argument between a couple, for instance, a verbal ‘slanging match’ in the street, and you have your stimulus for a story.
There are many facets to the human character; no one can be truly good or irretrievably bad. Or can they? The driving force linked to most murders, I’m reliably informed by a former DCI, is humiliation. How many of us haven’t felt humiliated at some point in our lives? Who hasn’t wished for revenge? That’s where the ‘what if’ scenario clicks in. What if the ‘good guy/girl’ isn’t all good? What if he’s fundamentally flawed in some way that might make him unwillingly/unwittingly hurt other people? If he admits his flaws, does this make him good? Is he good if he actively tries to fix his flaws? If his motives at heart are good, say, the protection of his family, would that justify him taking a life? Then there’s the ‘bad guy’? How deep does his humiliation run? Is it nature or nurture that makes him evil?
In his encounters with his nemesis in After She’s Gone and Sins of the Father, DI Matthew Adams had pondered this question. In Deadly Intent, the third book in the series, his mindset is thus: “He’d long ago stopped wondering how perverted individuals like Sullivan came into existence. As far as Matthew could see it wasn’t nature or nurture. It was a lethal cocktail of genes, brain function and childhood experience that created monsters like Patrick Sullivan.”
Would the reader see any redemption in Patrick Sullivan I wondered? Well, according to some reviewers (Amazon review snippets below), apparently, I created a monster people love to hate. A truly evil ‘tour de force’ according to one reviewer.
“I loved hating Patrick Sullivan.
I hated Patrick Sullivan I wanted to reach into the book and throttle him…but in a love hate kind of way.
In the case of Patrick, you find out he has a daughter that he worships above all others, I found this compelling considering his attitude towards women in general.
Patrick is a really wonderfully awful creation. I believed in him totally. I hated him but was also mesmerised by him, and just couldn’t tear my eyes away.”
It seems I’ve certainly created someone who incites powerful emotion. If you do read the book, I would love to know what you think.
Thanks so much for having me, Linda. While I’m here, can I take the opportunity to thank all bloggers and readers for their absolutely fantastic support? It really is tremendously appreciated. Those reviews mean the world to an author and, together with posts and extracts, will help a book find its wings. THANK YOU!
(You’re always welcome Sheryl. I love featuring authors I’ve met in real life and one of the joys of blogging is helping authors a little on their way!)
About Sheryl Browne
Sheryl Browne brings you edgy, sexy contemporary fiction and psychological thrillers.
A member of the Crime Writers’ Association, Romantic Novelists’ Association and awarded a Red Ribbon by The Wishing Shelf Book Awards, Sheryl has several books published and two short stories in Birmingham City University anthologies, where she completed her MA in Creative Writing.
Recommended to the publisher by the WH Smith Travel fiction buyer, Sheryl’s contemporary fiction comes to you from multi-award winning Choc Lit.
You can find more about and from Sheryl using these links: