Today I’m joined by debut author C.S. Duffy and she’s written me a rather interesting guest post. But first let’s find out about C.S. Duffy’s novel Dark of Night!
Ruari is on his way to confess his love for best friend Lorna when he discovers that she has gone missing.
Lorna was writing a blog about an infamous Scottish serial killer Stuart Henderson who is currently on death row in Texas. When Lorna’s body is discovered in the Campsies, Ruari sets out to retrace her last steps in the hopes of finding her killer – but somebody has beaten him to it.
Forensic psychologist Amy Kerr has been watching Alec McAvoy for months, certain that he is the so-called Dancing Girls Killer who evaded capture in London five years previously. Now he has struck in Glasgow, she is determined to close the net around him – until Ruari gets in her way.
Dark of Night is a fast paced, twisty thriller heavily laced with black Glasgow humour in which no one is quite who they seem and guilty is in the eye of the beholder.
Guest Post – The Intimate Thriller!
I was never frightened of monsters as a kid. Zombies could do one. Ghostbusters I just had a lot of questions for (I was a history geek from a very early age).
The first time I truly remember being terrified was the nightmare I had at around age seven, which I can clearly recall to this day. In it, I woke up to discover that my family had turned into gremlins (as in the eighties movie, which I may or may not have sneakily watched from behind the couch when my parents thought I was in bed).
What frightened me was not the gremlins as such – I’d been caught hiding behind the couch when I burst out laughing during the movie – but that I didn’t know which ones were my family and which ones were trying to kill me.
That, for me, is the crux of the intimate thriller. True terror isn’t in stranger danger, but in not knowing whether or not we can trust those closest to us. The anonymous killer who lurks in shadows is all well and good for the odd jumpy moment of fright, but the unease that comes from questioning your best friend, your lover, even yourself, lingers.
As I got a little older, I was allowed to watch movies openly, and became fascinated by the spate of neo-noirs that dominated cinema in the nineties, from Fatal Attraction to The Hand that Rocks the Cradle. Sleeping with the Enemy and Single White Female. At the time I wanted to be a screenwriter (and was, for a decade!). Those were the kinds of stories I wanted to tell.
Psychological, gripping – and intimate.
Then I got even older, went to film school in Vancouver, then travelled through Canada and the States, where I ended up working on an oil refinery in Ohio (long story!) One night, I went for a drink with a colleague, and she told me a story that was to change my life. In the 1970s in Washington State, her aunt went on a date with Ted Bundy. Yup: Ted Bundy, the serial killer. On the way home from the restaurant, the aunt had been struck by a violent bout of food poisoning, which saved her from a fate, quite literally worse than death.
Almost from the moment I heard the punchline, a novel started perculating in my brain. For years, I mentally worried away at it, getting more and more frustrated that I couldn’t quite crack the story. The problem was, that taken at face value, the story doesn’t really get interesting until the reveal, which necessarily happens at the end. In reality, my friend’s aunt discovered the identity of her ‘one who got away’ when she saw him on the news ten years later.
Then it hit me. The truly chilling part of the story isn’t her close call – that’s freaky, but only goes so far. What fascinated me was that he was the one who got away. For years, apparently, she had reminisced about the dreamy lawyer with whom she had blown it because of some dodgy scallops. She had spent an entire evening in the company of one of the most depraved killers who ever lived, and she hoped he would phone. And when he didn’t, she tried to engineer a second chance, looking for ways to accidentally-on-purpose bump into him while looking fabulous – let’s face it, we’ve all been there. All the while he was out murdering other women. I realised that it was a story about being vulnerable in love, which is something pretty much every human ever to have lived can identify with.
That’s when I cracked it – and that’s when I wrote Dark of Night.
What a fascinating insight to C.S. Duffy’s inspiration to writing Dark of Night. Thank you so much for dropping in on #AKnightsReads. I have added Dark of Night to my rather overflowing pile of books to read but I can’t wait to read it….
Who is C.S. Duffy?
C.S. Duffy writes psychological suspense thrillers with a healthy dose of black humour. Her background is in film and TV. She has several projects in development in Sweden and the UK, and her thriller feature Guilty will be shot summer 2018 in Canada. She is the author of Life is Swede, a thriller that was originally written as a blog – leading several readers to contact Swedish news agencies asking them why they hadn’t reported the murder that features in the blog. Dark of Night is her first novel.
You can find C.S. Duffy at: