Writing the fifth book in an ongoing series was more complicated than I expected. I had so many existing characters to choose from, and so many paths for their stories to go down. Staring at the blank page is always hard and I know there are certain expectations from my readers who I definitely don’t want to disappoint.
When I started writing Truth or Die, the fifth book in my series of books set in Exeter, I knew where I wanted the sixth book in the series to go – so that affected the storyline for Truth or Die. There were certain things that needed to happen before I could get there, and the key was finding scenarios to make sure those things happen. I like my characters to lead the story and not the plot so sometimes I have to scrap some big ideas in order to keep the flow of the story.
Truth or Die explores the themes of both revenge and manipulation. Revenge is absolutely one of my favourite things to write about which is why it features a lot in my books. I think we all dream about exacting revenge sometimes, even in a small way and so it feels great to be able to do that through my books. As for the idea of manipulation, I studied psychology at A level and one of my favourite subjects within that was Obedience, including the Milgram experiment. I think the idea that you can convince someone to do something that they wouldn’t do of their own volition is fascinating. As for my inspiration, for this book it came from an amalgam of Tv shows and movies I have seen over the years. Sometimes when you read or watch something it leaves questions with you and I like to try and answer those questions within my books.
There are a few new characters to meet in Truth or Die as well as some not so new characters. Another exciting thing about Truth or die is that I bring back a familiar character for people who have read the previous books. I was very nervous about bringing this character back but I knew that their story wasn’t yet complete. I don’t want to give too much away at this point but it was so much fun sinking into that person’s voice again. I expect I will bring more characters back in the future.
Both DS Grey and DS Miles are pulled into an investigation centred around the University and they have no idea what they are in for when they start the case. I know a lot of people read the series because of the chemistry between Imogen and Adrian, and want to see if anything will happen between them. I have lots of plans for them and things start to change within this book. I have really enjoyed exploring and developing their friendship – they have some very challenging times ahead. Luckily, when this book comes out you won’t have long to wait for the follow up which comes out in January!
It means so much to me that the series is so well received. I absolutely love writing DS Imogen Grey and DS Adrian Miles and I also love working out the crimes that they are going to have to solve and how those crimes will affect their mental state. Usually one or the other of them takes the case personally, leaving the other one to pick up the pieces. They are real people to me that I feel deeply invested in (and also slightly apologetic for all the things I put them through).
What’s to come for my two detectives? Well, Truth or Die sees them confronted with some repercussions for bad decisions they have made in previous cases and they are forced to re-evaluate what that means for them. This point is driven home even further in the next book which comes out early next year. Both will be tested to the limit and by the end of it, things will have changed dramatically in both their personal and professional lives. After that I will be writing a book set completely outside of the series and with a very different focus, although still very me. I’m looking forward to seeing what everyone thinks of Truth or Die, it’s a little different to the others but still very familiar.
(c) Katerina Diamond
Katerina is the author of the Sunday Times Best Selling Exeter based crime thriller series – starting with ‘The Teacher’ and followed by The Secret, The Angel, The Promise and Truth or Die Katerina is currently working on her seventh novel which is a standalone.
Katerina also runs the facebook book group CRIME SUSPECT with several other crime authors.
Katerina currently lives in East Kent. Katerina was born in Weston-super-Mare and has lived in various places since including Greece, Cyprus, Derby, East London and Exeter. Katerina watches way too much TV.
About Truth or Die:
Their darkest secrets won’t stay buried forever…
The butchered body of a professor is found in a private office of Exeter University. It is the first in a spate of horrific murders that shakes the city to its core.
Who would target a seemingly innocent man, and why? DS Imogen Grey and DS Adrian Miles turn to his students for answers, but their investigation turns up no leads. Someone must know more than they’re letting on…
As the body count rises, the police have to look into the past to uncover the person responsible before it’s too late.
But are they brave enough to face up to the truth?
Order your copy online here.