Sophie Rivers has a job she enjoys, a satisfying life and a close circle of friends. Then things go suddenly wrong; one of her students is murdered on college premises, and her best friend George meets a tragic end which everyone believes to be an accident - everyone, that is, except Sophie.
Memorable debut… compassionate and moving, this could be the start of a brilliant career.
This was my first published novel, so I'm very pleased with it for that reason. It was inspired by the building in which I taught, which was dominated by the sound of the lifts and the wind whistling round ill-fitting windows.
The other half of the plot came about when Birmingham's Symphony Hall was first opened to the public, still incomplete. As soon as I'd seen it, I phoned Andrew Barnell, Principal Bassoon in the CBSO with two questions: 'Do you mind being called George? Do you mind being dead?' Fortunately for me and Sophie, he was prepared to be both.
This is where some of the other main characters make their first appearance: Chris Groom and Ian Dale - and Winston Rhodes, who makes a guest appearance in Dying to Score.
25 May 1995
As tough and gritty as they come.