I am delighted to hand over my blog reigns to author Angela Corner today. Her debut novel, The Hidden Island, is out now and is available to buy over at Amazon UK now!
Sex. Drugs. Murder.
Hidden behind the crystal seas and beautiful beaches of a Greek Island dark and dangerous secrets lurk. Beckett has had his fill of adrenaline fuelled criminal investigation and with a broken body and damaged career goes to the Greek Island of Farou to head up the Criminal Investigation Bureau. Serious crime is rare, the weather is great and the beer is cold but his ‘retirement’ is cut short when a pagan cult resurrects and bodies start showing up.
With doubts about his mental and physical ability to do the job, a British police detective is sent to help with the investigation. DI Lee Harper is everything Beckett is not – young, ambitious and by the book.
As well as tackling the new case Beckett must overcome the demons from his past.
Family loyalty, power and money are at the source of the investigation where appearance is everything and nothing is what is seems.
Can Beckett and Harper work together to find justice for the victims?
Will the idyllic island ever be the same again?
Sometimes paradise can be hell.
A word from Angela . . .
A Sense of Place
The Hidden Island is set on a fictional Greek Island but why did I decide to plonk my characters in that particular place?
The setting of every story is a crucial decision in the mind of every writer before the first word is written. Location can become as big and well known a character as the humans in the story. Morse’s Oxford, Rebus’ Edinburgh, and the Shetland Isles for Ann Cleeves’ Jimmy Perez to name just a few. Almost every city, town and rural area of the UK now has its own crime series. It’s hard to come up with somewhere that hasn’t already got a detective running round catching serial killers and solving murders!
One of the most often quoted writing ‘rules’ is write what (or where) you know. I live in rural Herefordshire, actually not far from Much Marcle the infamous birthplace of the very real serial killer Fred West. Despite that rather dark part of its past Herefordshire is a beautiful place, crammed full of cider apple orchards and the not quite so picturesque polytunnels full of strawberries. But as a location it didn’t quite suit the story I wanted to tell. I was born and grew up in Lancashire. I’m a proud Northerner but again the mild, wet climes of the North West didn’t fit. So where did my imagination want to travel to?
I liked the idea of setting the story on an island. There’s that sense of being cut off and isolated at the mercy of the weather and the sea, of being left to your own devices where the laws of the mainland aren’t always obeyed. It harks back to the Golden Age detective fiction – the locked room (or locked island) mysteries. So an island it had to be but what island?
I’m a big fan of Nordic Noir, both to read and to watch. Dark subject matter set in cold, icy climates. However I was interested in contrasting dark happenings with idyllic surroundings, so the idea of setting a murky story of murder on a beautiful holiday island was born. On the outside a beautiful, sunlit place where people visit to relax and have fun but underneath a place where dark deeds, pagan rites, lies and deceit run riot. Like many of the best villains who are outwardly charming and friendly but with their evil hidden just under the surface.
The search for an idyllic island then started. I toyed with the Channel Islands, the Scilly Isles, even ventured across the Atlantic to the Caribbean but eventually decided on a fictional Greek island, an amalgamation of all the different Greek islands I’ve visited over the years. Whilst I don’t believe you should only write what you know (or where you know) it can help when you have experienced a place and have a fondness or attachment to it. Greece itself is so rich in history and as I started my research the Greek Mysteries really jumped out at me. The rites and rituals performed to please and appease the Greek gods. Western societies might have the pretence of being civilised but these ancient ceremonies still bubble away just under the surface.
One of the great things about writing is that you can transport yourself and your readers anywhere in this world, or a world of your own creation. It’s the cheapest and most environmentally friendly form of travel you can get.
About the author . . .
Angela Corner was born and bred in Lancashire but has moved ever further south in search of better weather. She currently lives in cider and strawberry country in the Wye Valley in South Herefordshire with her dogs, horses and a very understanding partner.
Angela’s writing life began after being made redundant from a career pretending to know about tax law. She did a Master’s Degree in Radio & TV Scriptwriting at Salford University and then spent eight years writing scripts for Channel 4’s Hollyoaks followed by a stint on Eastenders. But Angela’s writing ambition was always to become a novelist so the lives of beautiful teenagers and angry cockneys were swapped for the murder and skulduggery of crime fiction.
Angela is a serial reader of crime fiction and historical novels and is an avid watcher of TV crime drama, particularly anything Scandinavian and everything dark.
When she is not writing or doing internet research on how best to dispose of dead bodies she can be found riding her horses, walking her dogs or attempting to cook something edible for the understanding partner.