I have been thinking about who might want to read my book Crucial Evidence. I have always assumed it would appeal to a large number of readers, mainly because whenever I was asked what I did for a living and I said I was a barrister, I was always asked about my profession and how the criminal justice system worked. Sometimes I got so fed up with being questioned about my life at the Bar, I would lie and say I was the station announcer at Waterloo, and reel of a list of stations from lines I travelled frequently. However as my writing progressed I thought that perhaps some men would be put off by the rather feminist stance the book takes. Two women, a barrister and a police-officer, are the main protagonists and their ability to work in male dominated professions is one of the themes in the novel. Because of that I adjusted my views to thinking that perhaps men would not be keen to read it.
Then when I was about half way through the writing process the series Silk was broadcast and achieved viewing figures of two million. My novel has similarities with the TV programme, so I thought it would appeal to anyone who watched that show. The story line is about the trial for murder of a rather inadequate young man, rather than the investigation of the murder, although there are elements of the investigatory process. That may raise questions as to whether the enthusiastic crime novel reader will like the more ambiguous approach taken by the lawyers. I do hope so, but what do others think.
Laid low with flue over the past two weeks, has given me the opportunity to do more reading than normal and I have completed a trilogy of
novels by Ian Rankin. They were Let it Bleed, Black and Blue, and The Hanging Garden and are collectively described as ‘The Lost Years.’ In Black and Blue Rebus goes on the wagon, and it made be wonder why it is that so many ‘heros’ are dysfunctional being either alcoholics, or drug users or mentally unstable. In real life, our experience is that with any of those problems, the individual’s ability to process information, to act rationally are impaired. We only have to think of the effect on driving abilities after drinking alcohol to understand that. Yet these fictional characters seem highly competent. Why do we, as readers’, accept behaviour in fiction that we would deplore in our friends and family? Has anyone any thoughts on this?