People often ask where authors get their ideas from. It's often hard to say, but the idea for Still Waters came at quite a precise moment. My hairdresser was colouring my hair, to the accompaniment of local radio, which brought a news update. A body had been found in a local seaside resort.
The man, who lived in a flat on the sea front, had chosen to hop off not his own balcony but a neighbouring hotel's. I was hooked. And then, my hairdresser, an ex-policeman, reminisced about his days in the Force. He wasn't just any copper; he was part of an underwater search and rescue team.
One of his cases made my (newly blonde) hair stand on end. Well, how would you like to reach for the hand of a young woman trapped in a reservoir only to have it come off in your hand?
So that was the moment that Still Waters was conceived - the third in the Fran Harman series.
Still Waters sees the development of the Fran and Mark relationship. They have decided to buy a house together. But a novelist can't possibly let what should be a period of great personal happiness go unmarred. So I decided to stir things up a bit.
What better than to run a story about all the reorganisation affecting public services everywhere - as if the police could ever be run like a business! You can imagine that Fran in particular is not likely to have an easy time.
Things aren't easy at home, either, and even the rescue of their new house, the Rectory, is causing heartache. Fortunately Paula's Pots, who featured in Scar Tissue, are back again, in their new incarnation as Pact Restorers. It is they who take on the huge task of making the Rectory habitable. And they have a strange link with a man who is doing his level best to get Fran to leave the police.
So what do they find at the bottom of the Rectory garden? And why is there a new corpse on the very last page?
Allison & Busby
24 March 2008
Cutler's novels have the happy knack of being effortlessly readable… engaging characters and clever mysteries.