Published by Allison & Busby
Available in ebook, hardback and paperback (20 September 2018)
My thanks to Ailsa for the invitation to take part in the paperback publication tour for What Falls Between the Cracks. For the last day of the tour, I have a guest post from Robert – thank you!
I recently did an event at the Bloody Scotland festival in Stirling, and the panel was called “Crime is a series business” – the gist being why write a series rather than standalones, and the questions we were asked forced me to think back to when I first put pen to paper. Had I always meant to write a series, or did it evolve into one somewhere along the line? Now that Porter & Styles book two is done (at least first draft anyway) I feel like I can actually say I’m writing a series, but that wasn’t my intention when I created them – not explicitly anyway.
Amongst the writers whose books inspired me, there are some great examples of how to do a series, and do it well. One thing they all have in common are characters that feel so real that they practically step off the page and into your head. You care not only about what happens to them now, but finish the book desperate to know about where they go from there. Robert Crais with his duo of Cole & Pike, Harlan Coben with Myron & Win, or Jeffery Deaver with Rhyme & Sachs. They spark off each other, dialogue so on point that I practically hear voices like I’m there in the room with them, and that was the same kind of reaction I wanted readers to have to Porter & Styles.
When I first created Porter & Styles, I didn’t start with the arc I now have in mind for them as characters. That came later, but what I hope I’ve achieved, and the reviews seem to reflect this so far, are a couple of characters you want to be along with for the long haul, not just a one-off visit. The more you care about them, the more extreme I’m hoping your reactions will be to their highs and lows, and the more I can play on that to create compelling stories. That’s not to say I won’t write any standalone’s. As it happens I have a couple in draft form lurking on my hard drive, but I’ve mapped out the next few adventures in the series already beyond the first two books, so that’s the focus at the moment. I don’t have an end in mind for them yet. I figure I’ll know if or when the time is right, but for now, I’ve got at least four more in mind, and hope What Falls Between the Cracks sets the tone to make Porter & Styles a series you want to keep dipping back into.
| About the Book |
Did she slip through the cracks, or was she pushed?
When a severed hand is found in an abandoned flat, Detective Jake Porter and his partner Nick Styles are able to DNA match the limb to the owner, Natasha Barclay, who has not been seen in decades. But why has no one been looking for her? It seems that Natasha’s family are the people who can least be trusted.
Delving into the details behind her disappearance and discovering links to another investigation, a tragic family history begins to take on a darker twist. Hampered by a widespread fear of a local heavy, as well as internal politics and possible corruption within the force, Porter and Styles are digging for answers, but will what they find ever see the light of day?
| About the Author |
Robert Scragg had a random mix of jobs before taking the dive into crime writing; he’s been a bookseller, pizza deliverer, Karate instructor and Football coach. He lives in Tyne & Wear, is a founding member of the North East Noir crime writers group and is currently writing the second Porter and Styles novel.