Staying in with Emma Salisbury


I’m delighted to welcome back Emma Salisbury to Linda’s Book Bag. A couple of years ago I met Emma in person and she then wrote a fantastic guest post for the blog, all about Location, Location, Location that you can read here. Today Emma has agreed to stay in with me to tell me about another of her books.

If you’re an author who’d also like to stay in with me to tell me about one of your books, please click here for more details.

Staying in with Emma Salisbury

Welcome back to Linda’s Book Bag, Emma. 

Hi Linda, thanks for having me.

Thank you for agreeing to stay in with me. Tell me, which of your books have you brought along to share this evening and why have you chosen it? 


I’ve brought along my latest DS Coupland novel, ABSENT, published 19 May.

(Oo. Happy publication day for yesterday Emma!)

I’ve chosen it because of what it now symbolises. I was widowed suddenly part way through and for a long time I couldn’t eat, sleep or get dressed, let alone write. Several months down the line I thought the time was right to see if I could continue with the story. Everything about me had changed, you see, it changes you as a person, and for a while you can see only negative changes and I worried that this would impact my main character, DS Kevin Coupland. He was always going to be angry in this story because of what happens in the previous book, but I didn’t want him to behave out of character. It took a while to find his ‘voice’ again but when I did it felt very natural, and even in his darkest moments he retains his humour and pig headedness that readers have come to love. ABSENT took twice as long as any other book I’ve written to complete, but the fact that it is now here brings be immense joy.

(I was so sorry to hear about you loss Emma. I know many other Linda’s Book Bag readers, me included, have suffered grief in recent months. I’m so glad you managed to find your authorial voice again and that writing can bring you joy.)

What can we expect from an evening in with ABSENT?

ABSENT is a gritty police procedural set in Salford, Greater Manchester, featuring DS Kevin Coupland. Overweight, overworked and over forty he worships his wife and daughter and tries his utmost to separate them from the world in which he inhabits. Unfortunately for him he discovers that something that happened during an investigation into a serial killer case that he’d worked on the previous year comes back to bite him in his personal life, while at the same time trying to discover the identity of a child found in a bag.

(This sounds brilliant.)

The over-riding theme is about people who go missing without anyone noticing – and the book explores how that can happen. It is also about loss in many its forms, and forgiveness, and hope.

(I’m always amazed at how easy it is for people simply to disappear. I’m sure we all know loss in some form too so I think ABSENT would appeal to all of us.)

What else have you brought along and why?


Well I’ve brought along my pestle and mortar. I had one years ago and didn’t use it but find I’m using this one all the time. I think that makes me a grown up.

(I’m sure it does. Though with four D.S. Coupland novels under your belt I think you’re probably pretty grown up already!)

I’ve brought my new favourite sneakers, comfy as anything but look stylish too. They’re from a lovely boutique in North Berwick and I find it impossible to come out empty handed.


(*Sighs. I love shoes but with a foot problem I can only wear a couple of styles now. I’m so envious of these Emma. They look great.)


I also brought bubbly. I think it’s important to celebrate the good times, gives us something to look back on and smile. And what girl doesn’t like a glass of fizz!

Couldn’t agree more! I’ll get the glasses. Thanks so much for staying in with me to tell me all about ABSENT Emma. I’ve really enjoyed our chat.

Thank you for having me, Linda.



The worst things happen in plain sight.

When he stopped a serial killer in his tracks earlier in the year he thought that would be the end of it, but for DS Kevin Coupland his nightmare has just begun.

A child’s body is discovered hidden in a bag, kicking off a major investigation for Salford Precinct’s murder squad. Soon the National Crime Agency roll into town and Coupland is under strict instructions to play nice.

He’s got enough on his plate to worry about politics. A shock discovery in his personal life is starting to take its toll, causing him to make decisions that bring him to the attention of the powers that be for all the wrong reasons.

DS Alex Moreton returns from maternity leave to find her partner deeply troubled, but with a cold case to review she’s in no position to prevent him hitting the self-destruct button.

As he hunts down the child’s killer Coupland is forced to reflect upon his own life and find an answer to the question he’s been avoiding. Is it possible to accept the things you cannot change?

ABSENT is available for purchase here.

About Emma Salisbury

Emma Salisbury-53 (400x267) (300x200)

Emma Salisbury writes gritty, crime fiction that focuses on the ‘why’dunnit as well as the ‘who’. Emma worked for a housing association supporting ex-offenders into work which provided her with a lot of inspiration. Her novels have regularly been in the top ten Hardboiled chart and she was awarded an Amazon All-Star bonus for being one of their most read authors.

You can find Emma onTwitter @emmasauthor and Facebook. Emma’s website can be found here. All of Emma’s books are available for purchase here.

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