Monday, April 14, 2014

"Under a Silent Moon"

Elizabeth Haynes is a police intelligence analyst, a civilian role that involves determining patterns in offending and criminal behavior. Her novels include: Human Remains, Dark Tide, and Into the Darkest Corner, which was selected as Amazon UK's Best Book of 2011. She lives in a village near Maidstone, Kent, with her husband and son.

Haynes applied the Page 69 Test to her latest novel, Under a Silent Moon, and reported the following:
Initially I was quite surprised to find a sex scene on page 69 of Under a Silent Moon, but in retrospect this shouldn’t have felt strange. Brace yourselves, readers, there’s a lot of sex in this book. At its heart is a tangled mess of relationships, liaisons, betrayals, indulgences and fetishes, the net result of a community of people with too much money and not enough morality, selfish people who indulge their whims without considering the consequences. And yet there are victims of all this grotty behaviour, and on page 69 we get a glimpse of some of the fallout: Flora, artist daughter of Nigel Maitland, an organised criminal who maintains an outwardly respectable career as a farmer, is mourning in private the loss of her former lover, Polly Leuchars, whose battered remains were discovered at the start of the book:
Flora wasn’t in her studio. She was sitting in the car outside, looking up at the big windows, thinking of the canvas in there and wondering if she’d ever be able to look at it again. Crying again, of course. How long would it take before she could think of Polly and not cry? It wasn’t even as if they’d been together when it happened. It had finished months ago. But that didn’t stop the hurt, didn’t make it any less, didn’t make any bloody difference.

The canvas was huge, swirls of green and gold, flashes of navy, dots of bright red. It was an abstract, and it was based on the memories of what had happened in the top field at Hermitage Farm. The field where, on that hot spring day when the world had seemed so suddenly full of promise, Polly had kissed Flora for the first time. And then, when Flora had looked at her in amazement and kissed her back, Polly had pushed her gently into the shade of the trees, the buttons being undone one by one while Polly met her gaze and smiled at her surprise.
Polly’s murder is the focus of the police enquiry at the heart of the story, led by DCI Louisa Smith, newly-promoted and with a lot to prove. What might have featured on page 69 is one of the many police documents included in the text: witness statements, intelligence, emails and reports, allowing the reader to get involved in the investigation. And Louisa’s team needs all the help they can get: a second body is found, with links to Polly’s death, and the pressure mounts for Louisa to get a result. But Lou is driven by more than a desire to secure a conviction – she genuinely cares about those left behind, the families and friends of the victims, the ones like Flora who are left heartbroken and grieving.
Visit the official Elizabeth Haynes website and blog.

Read--Coffee with a Canine: Elizabeth Haynes & Bea.

--Marshal Zeringue