January 29, 2014
Meanwhile, I’ve just delivered the next novel in the series. It’s entitled Black Valley, and will be published in August. It’s also set in Wales, this time in Monmouthshire, and concerns the theft of a painting and ensuing skulduggery.My research involved taking a look at the world of contemporary art, so I visited a few exhibitons and galleries in the UK and Europe, and read some guides to the scene, including Seven Days in the Art World by Sarah Thornton, and The Twelve Million Dollar Stuffed Shark by Don Thompson. Thornton’s book paints a vivid portrait of who’s who in the art world, and how it functions; Thompson’s explores the crazed economics of it all, and is equally fascinating.
My novel concerns identity. It centres around an artist who adopts a persona that will intrigue the art world, becoming entangled in a web of crime in the process; and a protagonist (Jessica Mayhew, my shrink detective) who is newly single and whose curiosity – as ever – leads her into danger. It’s mostly set in Wales, with much of the action taking place around the atmospheric Llantony Priory in Monmouthshire, near where artist Eric Gill once set up his infamous commune. Domestic drama, gothic elements, scary action scenes, and psychotherapeutic musings (this time about the psychology of twins), very much as in the last book…