SHOT THROUGH THE HEART was my second encounter with Grace Fisher. In GOOD GIRLS DON’T DIE she’d just joined the Major Investigation Team in Colchester; now she has been reinstated as a Detective Inspector and is dealing with the aftermath of a multiple shooting in a small Essex town on Christmas Day.

What drives Grace is a deeply felt revulsion against unfairness and bullying. But in SHOT THROUGH THE HEART she’s faced with deciding whether her own loyalty to a friend isn’t in fact crossing the line into corruption.

Her unlikely ally is the wily tabloid crime reporter Ivo Sweatman, who has his own issues with the abuse of institutional power – and a soft spot for Grace.

I’ve written for several long-running TV crime series where I’ve got to know the central characters intimately, sometimes over many episodes and years. But that journey of discovery is shared with the actor who slowly imbues the character they play with their own essential qualities. Writing Grace Fisher has been a very different experience.

Creating a story around a character is a matter of chucking rocks at them and watching to see how they respond. With no actor to keep in mind, I almost have to be Grace in the way an actor would play her, and simultaneously get to know and invent her – although I’m still not sure which of those two comes first.

I’m now on the next book in the series, and Grace Fisher is coming into sharper focus with every word I write.

Shot Through The Heart by Isabelle Grey is published by Quercus in hardback and ebook on 24th March 2016.

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