Lloyd & Hill Books
- Unlucky For Some
- Births, Deaths and   Marriages/Death in the Family
- Scene of Crime
- Picture of Innocence
- Plots and Errors
- A Shred of Evidence
- Verdict Unsafe
- The Other Woman
- Murder...Now and Then
- The Murders of Mrs.Austin and   Mrs.Beale
- Redemption/Murder at the Old   Vicarage
- Death of a Dancer/Gone to Her   Death
- A Perfect Match
Other Books
- Record of Sin
  - Read extract
  - Listen to extract
- An Evil Hour
- The Stalking Horse
- Murder Movie
Writing as Elizabeth Chaplin
- Hostage to Fortune
Useful Info
- Chronological Order
- Translations
- Title Changes
- Lloyd & Hill interview
- Locations
- Lloyd & Hill on TV
  RECORD OF SIN (Non-series)
Macmillan, London (1985) /Curley, Boston, Mass. (1987)

My second novel, published Macmillan, London 1985/Curley, Boston, Mass. 1985. Hardback, large-print, Soundings Audio Book (unabridged).

The man who had everything lies at the bottom of the quarry, having received the wages of sin.

Above him a group of people gather in the gloom near his abandoned Mercedes. They are all people whose lives he has touched, but only one of them knows they are all free from his blackmailing and bullying now.

Or are they? It seems that from the grave Alan Blake’s influence is real enough. Real enough to frighten Frankie, who was never afraid of him in life – real enough to set at each other’s throats people who love each other. And it is skinny, red-headed fighting Frankie, at odds with the world, who takes it all on her insubstantial shoulders, determined that Alan will hurt no one else.

But the eighth deadly sin, that of omission, is one shared by each of the people in the little frightened group at the edge of the pit…

Was it easier or more difficult to write once you had been published?
More difficult. I wrote the first one with no thought of other people reading it. When A Perfect Match was published, it was reviewed widely and well, and suddenly I felt I had a responsibility to live up to it with the next one. Second novels are traditionally less successful, and Record of Sin was no exception. But I blame the fact that I wrote it during the only time I ever tried to give up smoking!

What was wrong with it?
One or two things. My editor advised me against beginning it with an overview of the village in which it was set, and I should have heeded his words, but I didn’t. I’d take his excellent advice and get straight on with the story if I was writing it now. And it wasn’t a classic whodunit – it was, in effect, a straight novel in the form of a whodunit, and I think crime fiction readers felt disappointed. Readers who like it seem to love it, but they are in the minority. It is still regularly borrowed from the library, however, though the copies must be falling apart by now.

What was right with it?
I wanted to look at the seven deadly sins, and how people don’t have to be obviously sinful to be guilty of all or any of them, and I think that worked. I think the characters worked – I can still see them all, quite clearly, and remember them all, which is by no means always the case with me. It had a good title. It had a good jacket, unlike many of my novels.

What prompted you to write it?
Most of my novels begin with a character, in this case, Frankie. I had a dream about her. I quite often use dreams – I think it’s just my subconscious working while I’m asleep. One reviewer (who is a loyal and supportive fan of my work) said that she was ‘intended to be more endearing than in fact she is’, but he’s wrong about that, because I have never set out to make any character endearing. On one or two occasions I have written characters intended to be anything but endearing, but even that is rare. As far as I’m concerned, my characters are people – you might like them or not, just as you would if you met them. I think Frankie would get on my nerves if I knew her, but the more I thought about her, the more I wanted to write about her.

What kind of reviews did it get?
Not bad. One reviewer said the plot was good, but the characterisation was samey. Another said that the plot was OK, but the characterisation was good!

     View the full sitemap
All the text and images in this site are copyrighted to Jill McGown © unless otherwise stated