A SHRED OF EVIDENCE (Lloyd
and Hill #7)
Macmillan, London/Fawcett (Ballantine Books), NY (1995)
My twelfth novel, published Macmillan,
London/Fawcett (Ballantine Books), NY 1995. Hardback,
print, Magna Story Sound (unabridged), dramatised by Carlton
Television for ITV as ‘Lloyd and Hill’ with
Philip Glenister and Michelle Collins in the title roles.
(Sorry, there’s no video).
Lying in the glare of the police arc-light was the body
of Natalia Ouspensky, a fifteen-year-old schoolgirl. She
had been beaten, strangled and possibly raped.
For Detective Inspector Judy Hill
and Detective Chief Inspector Lloyd this is the start
of a harrowing police
enquiry – one that will deeply affect the lives of
the innocent, but might well fail to convict the guilty.
An enquiry, it seems, that is not
going to yield a single shred of evidence…
Why the change of US publisher?
St Martin’s Press decided to drop a number of its
British authors, for whatever reason. I don’t think
it could have been sales, because some very successful
writers were dropped. Luckily, Ballantine Books, who had
published me in paperback, picked me up immediately, and
they’ve done a great job for me.
What gave you the idea?
Some years before, I was travelling on the top deck of
a bus when three schoolgirls came on and behaved pretty
much exactly as they do in the novel, and my thoughts
were pretty much exactly what Judy’s are. When
I got home, I jotted my impressions down in my notebook – you
never know what will come in handy for fiction purposes.
What made Carlton decide to dramatise this novel?
I imagine they felt it was the one that would appeal to
the widest range of viewers. It wouldn’t have been
my choice, because Lloyd takes a bit of a back seat in
A Shred of Evidence, and I felt that in the dramatisation
he seemed to be reacting to what other people did rather
than initiating the action, which he should have been
doing, being the boss. His secondary role was natural
in the novel, because he wasn’t involved in the
investigation at the beginning, but in the dramatisation,
of course, he was. Having said that, I thought that the
movie was entertaining and that Philip and Michelle did
a very good job of portraying the leads.
Did you write the script?
No, Richard Maher wrote the script, and I think it was
excellent, especially as he had to simplify a very complex
Is there going to be a TV series?
Not in the foreseeable future. I think there might have
been, had events not conspired against us! Some day,
Which one would you have chosen to dramatise?
Probably A Perfect Match, being the first novel. And that
was Carlton’s original choice, when they first
discussed the possibility, but at that time the network
turned the script down because there were ‘too
many cop shows’ on TV. Then they discovered that
cop shows got viewers, and changed their minds. I suppose
Carlton had to offer a different script second time around,
and assuming that was the case, I might have chosen Death
of a Dancer, which would have given a better idea of
Lloyd and Hill’s working relationship. But it had
no parts for teenage girls in very short skirts!