VERDICT UNSAFE (Lloyd and Hill #8)
Macmillan, London/Fawcett (Ballantine Books), NY (1997)
My thirteenth novel, published
Macmillan, London/Fawcett (Ballantine Books), NY 1997.
Hardback, paperback, large
print, Magna Story Sound (unabridged).
Four young women. Four horrific
rapes. Committed, it is claimed, by Colin Arthur Drummond,
a privileged young man
from Malworth. Certainly Detective Inspector Judy Hill
will never forget his chilling description of a fifth unreported
rape – or his threat that she was to be his sixth
The prosecution has an open-and-shut
case against him – or
do they? For very soon, Drummond is threatening Judy again.
As she sets out to prove his guilt for a second time – and
save her own job – Detective Chief Inspector Lloyd
is called to a horrifying scene.
It appears Colin Drummond has picked
his next victim…
This is a sequel to The Other
Woman – is
it necessary to read them in order?
No, because the court case at the beginning of Verdict
Unsafe gives you all the information you need, and reading
it first doesn’t give anything away about the outcome
of The Other Woman.
So what made you want to write a sequel?
I knew when I wrote The Other Woman that I wanted Drummond
to come out of prison and go after Judy at some point
in the future. But since I had made it abundantly clear
that the police had got him – as Tom Finch would
say – bang to rights, that looked as though it
would have to wait for some considerable time, especially
with Stansfield time moving so much more slowly than
it does in the rest of the world. But then I saw a programme
about the non-infallibility of DNA, and a little reading-up
on sexual dysfunction confirmed that there was a way
that I could get Drummond out of jail free. The fact
that Drummond had called himself the ‘Stealth Bomber’ was
sheer serendipity, and it was the aptness of his soubriquet
that made me decide to go for it.
How did you go about it?
I re-read The Other Woman, and saw how the throw-away remark
that some of the officers at Malworth might be corrupt
could be the basis for this story, and would give incidents
and scenes from the first novel a completely different
slant. I enjoyed working out the new plot with timings,
locations and characters already fixed; it wasn’t
easy, but it was fun. And it worked! In some ways, it’s
the novel that gives me most satisfaction.