Indie Next Pick “Now in Paperback”!
THE SOUND OF BROKEN GLASS
From New York Times Bestseller Deborah Crombie comes her latest mystery, featuring London detectives Duncan Kincaid and Gemma James, where sins of the past lead to a powerful danger in the present.
Praise for THE SOUND OF BROKEN GLASS:
“Crombie is very talented at putting together a richly atmospheric whodunit…. [A]s a creator, she energetically inhabits the many strange worlds she shows her readers….” — Washington Post
“Ms. Crombie again has turned out a gripping and nicely tailored mystery and added another chapter to her chronicle of Kincaid and Jones.” — Washington Times
“…Deborah Crombie never falters. Her novels are a delight, and with The Sound of Broken Glass, she keeps her impressive creative streak intact.” — Miami Herald
“With a multilayered plotline, deft characterizations in which even the minor players are fully realized and endless compassion for everyone in the cast, Crombie creates another worthy installment in her distinguished body of work.” — Richmond Times-Dispatch
On Sale February 25, 2014
Making a smashing debut within the Top Ten of the New York Times Bestseller list last year, Deborah Crombie’s THE SOUND OF BROKEN GLASS (William Morrow; February 25, 2014; ISBN: 9780061990649; $13.99) is now available in trade paperback, and has already been named an Indie Next Pick for March.
When a thirteen-year-old boy, the son of an alcoholic mother with few acquaintances, befriends his next door neighbor, a young widow, he feels—for the first time in his life—as if someone cares about his future. The pair forms a special relationship, but one shocking act of betrayal causes the young woman to lose everything she’s worked so hard to accomplish and shatters the young boy’s innocence, changing both their lives forever.
Years later, Detective Inspector Gemma James has been assigned to lead a Murder Investigation Team and assisting her is newly promoted Detective Sergeant Melody Talbot. They are called to a crime scene to find a well-respected barrister naked, trussed, and apparently strangled in a seedy hotel room. And when a second victim, a junior barrister, is found murdered in the same way, Gemma and Melody fear they have a serial killer at work.
Meanwhile, Detective Superintendent Duncan Kincaid, Gemma’s husband, has taken leave from Scotland Yard to care for their three-year-old foster daughter, Charlotte. Duncan has been following the investigation with increasing concern and when he realizes he has a personal connection with one of the suspects, he interviews the young man who admits recognizing the second victim, a childhood friend. Duncan and Gemma now know the killings are not random, and that the young man may be the link between the victims. Could he be the killer—or is he the next victim?
An ice storm traps detectives and suspects in the steep streets of Crystal Palace and only the revelation of the past can stop the killer, and only the young man holds the key. Will he face the truth in time?
It is my pleasure to interview Deborah Crombie, author of The Sound of Broken Glass. Welcome to Room With Books, Ms. Crombie!
First, Ms. Crombie’s biography:
Deborah Crombie is a New York Times Notable author and has been nominated for and won many awards including the New York Times Book of the Year. She is a native Texan who has lived in both England and Scotland. She lives in McKinney, Texas, sharing a house that is more than one hundred years old with her husband, three cats, and two German shepherds.
Please tell us a little about your book, The Sound of Broken Glass, and what inspired you to write it?
There are always so many strands that come together to make a book. I’d very casually introduced a character named Andy Monahan in a previous book, Where Memories Lie. A young rock guitarist, he was interviewed by Scotland Yard detectives Duncan Kincaid and Doug Cullen as a witness to a murder. But Andy was one of those characters who come to life on the page. I knew when I finished that book that I wanted to tell Andy’s story, and that it had to start with his childhood. Then a good friend suggested that I set a book in a part of far south London known as Crystal Palace, and when I went there, I knew that was where Andy’s story would take place.
It begins in a hot August in Crystal Palace when Andy is thirteen. He’s a solitary boy, trying to take care of his alcoholic mother, obsessed with the great fire that destroyed the historic Crystal Palace itself years before. He learns to play the guitar, the one thing left behind by a father he doesn’t remember. Then Andy is befriended by a young, widowed school teacher, Nadine, who moves into the flat next door.
Nadine has her secrets, but it is Andy’s unwitting betrayal of their friendship that comes back to haunt them both fifteen years later. Gemma and Duncan’s investigation of the brutal murder of a lawyer in a Crystal Palace hotel has unforeseen consequences for Andy, for Nadine, and for a member of Gemma’s team, Melody Talbot.
When you start writing do you have the story outlined or do your characters dictate what will happen?
I’m an outliner. And that’s a bit of an understatement. I start out with a synopsis, then I do a sort of story-boarding where I work out all the major plot lines from the beginning to the end of the book. I also work out very detailed backgrounds for most of the characters. When the storyboard is done, I can take elements from each plot line and weave them into a chronological chapter/scene outline. I’ve learned over the years, however, that I can’t outline an entire book in one go. The plot always shifts as I write, unexpected characters come into the story, there are twists I didn’t anticipate—although the story almost always ends the way I thought it would.
Have you ever had arguments with your characters and, if yes, who usually wins?
I wouldn’t say I have arguments with characters. I would say I have arguments with myself—usually because I know that I have to make something bad happen to a character I like in order to move the story forward. Most of the time I win (it’s hard to have a crime novel where nothing bad happens…) but on the few occasions I’ve lost, I’ve been very glad. For instance, there was a character in No Mark Upon Her, the novel set in the world of competitive rowing, that I thought would have to die. My kinder side convinced me otherwise, much to the relief my character’s relief as well as mine!
What is one thing about you that your readers would be surprised to know?
Most readers know I’m from Texas, and that I still live in Texas, although I visit England often. Most don’t know that I spent a good deal of time in Mexico when I was growing up, including a summer in Mexico City when I was eighteen, living with friends of my parents. My parents had a house outside Guadalajara for a decade, and I loved spending time there.
If you could write with any other author who would it be any why?
That’s a hard choice! I have so many great brainstorming buddies! But if I had to choose one, I think it would be Caroline Todd (half of the mother/son writing duo Charles Todd.) Caroline and I love talking about the plots of our books and bouncing ideas back and forth, and she is so sharp and funny and clever that I always come away from a conversation with her full of new ideas.
What do you remember that you wanted to be when you grew up, besides a writer?
Um, a jockey. An explorer. An anthropologist. An archeologist. A geologist. A paleontologist. An ethologist (the study of animal behavior.) You will notice a good many “ologists” in there… Hence the degree in biology.
What age were you when you began writing and what prompted you to begin?
I was not a child prodigy by any means. Although I told stories to myself from an early age, I didn’t write until I was in my teens, and then it was poetry. I wrote poetry and short stories through college but never submitted anything for publication. A Share in Death (the first Kincaid/James book) was my first attempt at a novel.
Is there specific music that inspires your writing?
I am entirely unmusical myself, but am fascinated by music. I’ve written a book set around opera, a book involving Gregorian chant, and now, with The Sound of Broken Glass, rock and pop music. My taste is very eclectic, but The Sound of Broken Glass turned me into a real rock junkie. I keep up with bands now, am addicted to live shows like The Voice, and am fascinated by the history of electric guitars. And guitarists!
What is your favorite breakfast?
Favorite would probably be a full English—a “proper fry-up.” Eggs, English bacon and sausages (very different from the American versions,) with tomatoes, mushrooms, and fried bread. And strong breakfast tea with milk. My real-life usual breakfast runs more to a half cup of very healthy granola with some Greek yogurt. Sad…
What is your favorite color?
What is your favorite movie?
I am also a movie junkie, so that is pretty close to an impossible choice. If I could pick three, it might be the Bourne trilogy with Matt Damon. It’s a great character arc, and I love Paul Greengrass’s directing in the second and third movies. I’ve watched all three more times than I can count, and am always ready to watch them again.
What is your dream car?
I had my dream car when I first started writing—a 1997 Honda Prelude. It was red, and fabulous. But you can’t get two big dogs in a car like that, so after a few years I gave it up for something more suited to my lifestyle. What I’d like now is the sort of car that is easy to find in the UK and Europe but not in the US. Small (but with enough room for the dogs,) with really good gas mileage, but with all the luxury features you get in a nice sedan like the Honda Accord I drive now. And in a really pretty color—lime green or magenta. Most car colors are SO boring!
Where can your loyal readers connect with you?
New York Times Bestselling author Deborah Crombie has written fifteen novels featuring Scotland Yard detectives Superintendent Duncan Kincaid and Inspector Gemma James. She lives in an old house in north Texas with her husband, two German Shepherd Dogs, and two cats, and travels to England often. Her sixteenth Kincaid/James novel, TO DWELL IN DARKNESS, will be published by William Morrow September 23rd, 2014. Thank you, Ms. Crombie, for taking to time to answer my questions and sharing the release of your trade paperback on Room With Books.
THE SOUND OF BROKEN GLASS
William Morrow/Trade Paperback/ 9780061990649
On Sale February 25, 2014