I’m heading up to Granite noir, a crime fiction festival in Aberdeen in one month. I’m going to be talking about children caught up in crime fiction with two incredible psychological thriller writers, Mel McGrath, author of Give Me the Child, and Colette McBeth, who’ll be talking about An Act of Silence.
All of our books feature a mother as the central character and their child, who is in peril. There is nothing our characters would not do to protect their child – although in Mel and Colette’s stories, the situation is more complex. Linda, the protagonist in An Act of Silence, has an adult son whom she has never truly trusted: will she believe him now, when he’s been accused of murder?
As for me, my character, Zoe, in The Stolen Child, would go to the ends of the earth for her daughter, Evie – if she knew where to find her. Arguably, Zoe inadvertently put her daughter in danger by falling for another man, an artist called Haris, who is darkly fascinating. This goes to the heart of what it takes to be a good mother: you obviously need to love and care for your child or children, but to do so well, you need to be happy too.
Where do we draw the line between our needs and those of our family?