Do writers listen to their readers? Charles Dickens certainly did – modifying characters in his serialized novels, based on reader-response. Tess Gerritsen, perturbed by media disapproval of graphic violence in fiction, polled her readers. Should she tone down the gore? My impression was that she would quite like to, but her readers gave an emphatic ‘No!’ . . . so the gore stayed in. Asked if there are more Lincoln Rhyme novels for readers to look forward to, Jeffery Deaver said he would continue writing them as long as his readers wanted to read them.
My readers have contacted me about Prof Fennimore’s PhD student and protégé, Josh Brown, and also Suzie, Fennimore’s daughter, abducted at the age of ten, and still missing after six years. Who is Josh? they want to know. What’s his story? Who/what is he hiding from? And Suzie – is she alive? Will Fennimore ever find her? ‘Don’t make us wait too long to find out!’ one reader pleaded.
Happy ever after isn’t really my style, but I do listen. So, in Truth Will Out, Josh does confront his shady past, and Fennimore & Simms, working on a mother-daughter kidnap that could be linked to Suzie’s disappearance, head to Paris, following a lead that could reveal Suzie’s fate.
A.D. Garrett is the pseudonym for prize-winning novelist Margaret Murphy working in consultation with policing and forensics expert, Helen Pepper.