A new novel by Simon Kernick is always an event; Crime Time persuaded him to talk about Payback…
I was always going to bring Dennis Milne back for another book. He’s a great character to write, but then heroic villains so often are (although I’ll never be entirely sure why that is). The reason for his long hiatus between A GOOD DAY TO DIE and THE PAYBACK was because I couldn’t come up with a plot idea that worked for him. The fact that I made him a fugitive from justice at the end of THE BUSINESS OF DYING, always limited my options for bringing him back. I thought I had a good story for him four years ago, and I even wrote the first fifty pages (it was called The Executioner) but I just couldn’t get it to work. Dennis needs a really exciting plot where there’s plenty for him to do, otherwise he’s not so effective as a protagonist. So it was back to the drawing board.
And then about two years back, I had one of those eureka moments where I not only thought of a decent story for him, but one which also featured Tina Boyd, who’s probably my other favourite character. What I liked about this story was that it acted as the conclusion of a loose series of books that started way back with A GOOD DAY TO DIE, and took in RELENTLESS, TARGET and THE LAST TEN SECONDS. In THE PAYBACK, Tina once again finds herself taking on arch-nemesis, Paul Wise. But is Dennis going to help or hinder her?
You’ll have to read it to find out.
Payback is published by Corgi