Author: Ray Clark
Series: Gardener and Reilly Crime Series #3
Published by Urbane Publications on August 9, 2018
Genres: Mystery/Thriller, Police Procedural
Bramfield, near Leeds, a sleepy little market town nestled on the borders of West and North Yorkshire. Detectives Stewart Gardener and Sean Reilly discover the naked corpse of Alex Wilson, nailed to the wall of a cellar in his uncle’s hardware store. His lips are sewn together and his body bears only one mark, a fresh scar near his abdomen.
Within forty-eight hours, their investigation results in dead ends, more victims, no suspects and very little in the way of solid evidence. Gardener and Reilly have a problem and a question on their hands: are the residents of Bramfield prepared for one of history’s most sadistic killers, The Tooth Fairy?
Implant is the perfect read for fans of Peter May, Mark Billingham and Peter James.
And now a little word from Ray Clark:
Whenever I am invited to do a book talk I always open using the same format for my audience. I try to ascertain how many of them are readers and how many are writers. I then ask the question: what do you feel is the most important part of a book? The answers are varied and interesting. I eventually answer the question myself, which is always two fold.
As a reader, without doubt the most important part of the book for me is the protagonist, the main character. He or she has to be three-dimensional and give me a very good reason to keep turning the page. It has to be a character who lights up the text whenever he appears because you basically have no idea what he or she is going to do or say. Thomas Harris is a man who proves that point very well. He created, in Hannibal Lecter, a complete and utter – yet extremely intelligent – monster. A man who actually enjoys torturing and eating people, who is guilty of the most heinous crimes. Yet, when we see the man about to meet his demise in the book, Hannibal, as Mason Verger is going to feed Lecter to the pigs, we feel sorry for him. His hands and feet are bound and he’s been hoisted up on to a lifting device so that he can be lowered slowly into the pen. That way, both the pigs and Verger can devour every second – as does the reader. The power of that writing and the emotion it creates is, for me, sheer genius.
As a writer, it has to be first and foremost, your research. For me, from a writing point of view, good research, sparingly used is what will keep people returning to your work time and again. You have to show the reader that you know what you are talking about – even if you don’t. Research can be used in a variety of ways: to intensify a plot, or to build up a really believable character. For me it’s almost always the most fun part of the book. When I wrote the cross genre novel, Seven Secrets, set against the background of the NYMR, I was so absorbed in the research about the stations and the line itself, that the writing became secondary, but it’s what I believe made the book so easy to write in the end. I love researching novels: it’s a bit like opening a well-wrapped present: you never know what you are going to find when you finally open the box.
Another interesting bit of research I became involved in was for a book entitled, The Priest’s Hole (later re-released as Resurrection). For years I’d wanted to write something about Ouija Boards. My concern was that I felt everything might already have been done. So I postponed writing about them until I could find the right vehicle. Whilst researching something completely different one day, I was studying an article on ancient wisdom and secret sects, and became embroiled in Druidism, reading about a battle that took place on the island of Anglesey in A.D. 61, when it was believed that the Roman’s came ashore, and in a pretty fierce battle, wiped out the last of the Druid’s in the UK. One phrase in that article became the vehicle for the book, which led me to researching the Ouija Board more seriously. Perhaps the most fascinating this I discovered was that the boards and the spirits are not always bad. The English writer Sax Rohmer, most famous for the Fu-Manchu series of books once paid a visit to a talking board (as they were known) when he was a struggling writer who had achieved little or no success. The board spelled out the word, C-H-I-N-A-M-A-N. The rest is history. I’m afraid nothing good happens to the people who stumble across my Ouija Board.
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Thank you to Ray Clark for being featured on my blog today!