For those of you who have been reading my books for a while now, I’m guessing it’s not a complete surprise that I’ve taken the opportunity to write a standalone novel in between my spy novels and the Detective Kay Hunter series, as it’s been a while since I’ve done so.
If you’re a newcomer to my writing, the book of mine that most closely veers towards the psychological thriller sub-genre of crime fiction is LOOK CLOSER (and if you haven't yet read that one, you can find it here).
So, I think it was only a matter of time before something like THE FRIEND WHO LIED popped into my head.
It just had to wait for the right circumstances to come along for the idea to form.
It didn’t take long, because last year, I became fascinated with locked room mysteries.
I'm not sure why – perhaps it was caused by an irrational fear of not being able to find my way out of a room because I was surrounded by packing boxes while we were organising our emigration back to the UK from Australia!
The first few weeks back in the UK were unsettling. Despite being from the UK originally, we hadn’t lived here for 13 years.
We struggled to get the requisite paperwork together to open bank accounts; we battled to get new mobile phone numbers; we were told we spoke with weird accents.
We were also “glamping” at my parents’ house in Dorset for a few weeks, and I think the whole scenario of being transient, without roots, being bewildered at how once familiar surroundings were now alien to us left me feeling quite fraught.
That state of flux and the overwhelming sense of not being in control of our circumstances as we negotiated our way through the red tape and bureaucracy went a long way to powering the idea forward for THE FRIEND WHO LIED.
When THE FRIEND WHO LIED first popped into my head in September, it felt like the perfect amalgamation of locked room mystery and psychological thriller.
It’s set in an escape room, which is the perfect modern setting for a locked room mystery, and is told through four different viewpoints.
Who will you trust?
I had a lot of fun writing this story, and I hope you enjoy reading it.
THE FRIEND WHO LIED is out now and is available worldwide in eBook, print and large print format – and available to borrow from your nearest library for free, of course.
If you haven't yet picked up your copy of THE FRIEND WHO LIED yet, click here to find a list of retailers.