AND ERRORS (Lloyd and Hill #10)
Macmillan, London/Fawcett (Ballantine Books), NY (1999)
My fifteenth novel, published Macmillan,
London/Fawcett (Ballantine Books), NY 1999. Hardback,
Andrew and Kathy Cope, the proprietors of a debt-ridden
detective agency on the verge of losing their home, are
found dead in their fume-filled car. Few doubt that it
But Detective Chief Inspector
Lloyd does. He knew Kathy, and doesn’t believe she was a quitter. And why,
he asks DI Judy Hill, were groceries put away on the
wrong shelves? Why is Andy Cope’s wheelchair still
in the boot? Even Kathy’s last case is a puzzle.
Why, of all the detectives she might have employed, did
a member of the super-wealthy Esterbrook family choose
to hire the Copes?
That night, the murder of matriarch
Angela Esterbrook appears to vindicate Lloyd’s doubts, but even he
doesn’t realise that the Copes’ apparent
suicide is just the curtain-raiser on a tragedy of almost
So how did this one go down with readers?
Much better than I thought it would! Some of them even
liked it. I expect most people thought it went a plot-twist
too far. I hope that reading it didn’t hurt people’s
brains too much. One reviewer said he wanted to throw
it at the wall – I understand that entirely.
He only had to read it – I had to write the damn
So why did you write it?
Because it was there. Let’s see…why did I
write it? Because I got Josh into my head, and the Hamlet-type
plot with practically everyone on stage dead by the end,
all being killed for the wrong reasons, seemed to belong
to him. Because the appalling Esterbrook family appealed
to me as subjects for fiction. But it was a big plot – I
swear to you, there was nothing in there that didn’t
have to be there. What I really love about my readers
is that they are prepared to accept that I don’t
write the same book over and over again. A lot of authors
have made a huge success out of doing just that – and
I enjoy that kind of author myself from time to time – but
I am not such an author. Other than being assured that
they will be privy to the murderer’s thoughts,
my readers don’t know what to expect, and they’ll
even put up (almost) uncomplainingly with one like this.
So it was self-indulgent?