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News Archive - June 2016

At this time of year writing has to fit in with doing the garden which is not very big but quite large enough. Like a lot of Devon gardens it is at its best in late spring, the soil being perfect for rhododendrons, azaleas and camellias. When we first moved here sorting it out was quite a job as the previous owners had seemingly put three plants in each hole they’d made.

I’m pressing on with, which follows on after Dust to Dust and am about half way through. But if you want to know more about the background of this series of novels and how Patrick and Ingrid got back together again and worked for MI5 you’ll have to read the first, A Murder of Crows.

A sample extract taken from the first chapter is now ready for you to try - just click here

Behind the Scenes - Exploring the background to characters, scenes and storylines…

Ingrid Langley

This is the second of the character profiles I intend to write every couple of months or so.

Yes, they had always got on famously in public. Since they were married, that is. Before that – Ingrid and Patrick had met at school – they got on amazingly well all the time, mostly, Ingrid admitted to herself much later, because of sexual attraction. She was aware also that her only real claim to fame at school had been nabbing the highly desirable Head Boy. They fell in love when he turned up at her home to help her with her physics homework. This had come about as their fathers were friends and Ingrid’s had happened to mention that his daughter was struggling with a project she had to do in the school holidays. Ingrid’s father is dead now: she still misses him terribly.

By the time of the wedding Patrick was the youngest major in the Devon and Dorset Regiment and as someone remarked, ‘rising through the ranks like bread dough on a hot day’. But now there were too many exciting places to visit, too much to do, too many other challenges for him to have time to give much attention to his new wife who was by now a successful novelist. On the occasions when he was at home they quarrelled incessantly. He was haughty, big-headed, someone who thought he was quite, quite perfect. Also, he wanted children, Ingrid didn’t, not yet. What would happen to her writing career if she had to devote a lot of time to a demanding infant? And anyway, when was the child’s father going to be around? Finally, after one dreadful final row – in her view he was now utterly insufferable – when she had thrown his classical guitar down the stairs and smashed it, she threw him out as well. It was her cottage, she told herself, bought with her writing earnings and money left to her by her father.

It is an indication of this woman’s courage and determination that she succeeded in this as Patrick Gillard is not the kind of man to be tossed out of anything. In a word, formidable. They were divorced.

Then everything changed.

Serving with Special Forces, Patrick suffered catastrophic injuries and, as previously stated, was offered a job with MI5. He turned up on the Dartmoor cottage doorstep, limping, confidence shattered, thinking himself as good as destroyed, and begged her to help him in his new career with MI5.

Still furious but heartbroken by what had happened to him, Ingrid initially refused. Then, that same day, on orders from Colonel Richard Daws, Patrick’s new boss, several marines arrived to rough up Patrick to remind him that he was being paid and not achieving anything. There was a horrible skirmish when despite the odds Patrick beat them off with Ingrid’s help, she armed with a poker.

At that moment Ingrid’s life changed for ever as well. She accepted his offer – lots of material for novels of course, and having fallen in love a little with him again – not realising what her decision would involve. But the old magic of their relationship, strained sometimes, has kept them together –so far.

June 19th, 2016

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