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Scared to Death by Rachel Amphlett (Q&A and a review)

A serial killer murdering for kicks.

A detective seeking revenge.

When the body of a snatched schoolgirl is found in an abandoned biosciences building, the case is first treated as a kidnapping gone wrong.

But Detective Kay Hunter isn’t convinced, especially when a man is found dead with the ransom money still in his possession.

When a second schoolgirl is taken, Kay’s worst fears are realised.

With her career in jeopardy and desperate to conceal a disturbing secret, Kay’s hunt for the killer becomes a race against time before he claims another life.

For the killer, the game has only just begun…

Scared to Death is a gripping fast paced crime thriller from author Rachel Amphlett, in a new series introducing Kay Hunter – a detective with a hidden past and an uncertain future…

 
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Review
 
I have a lovely Q&A with Rachel Amphlett to share today, but first I want to say something about the book. Scared to Death is the first in a new series by Rachel Amphlett. I had not read anything by Rachel Amphlett before I read this book, but as a big time crime fan was I intrigued by the premise and the cover of the book. So, what makes this so special that you should pick it over other crime books?
 
Personally, I just love when I instantly like the main character and Kay Hunter was just the kind of tough female cop that I like to read about. And, it was quite nice that she seems to be quite stable, despite recent problems both at home and at work. Not, that I don't like my heroines flawed, I do. But, having a woman cop, in a stable relationship felt like a nice change. I just loved that she and Adam have a loving and understanding relationship, despite that they have just been through hell together.
 
As for the case, it's tragic, the whole case feels like just an awful nightmare. Without giving too much away is this case a typical example of what could happen when someone that has been abused for years suddenly snaps. It's such a chilling story. Also, the story has some brilliant twists. Just the way I like it.
 
So now, I think you should read the Q&A to find out more about the book and Rachel Amphlett!
 
Author Q&A

1. Let's start with the basic question, can you please tell me what your book is about for the readers that haven't yet read it?

Scared to Death is the first novel in a new series featuring DS Kay Hunter – a detective with a hidden past, and an uncertain future.

Here’s the blurb:

A serial killer murdering for kicks.

A detective seeking revenge.

When the body of a snatched schoolgirl is found in an abandoned biosciences building, the case is first treated as a kidnapping gone wrong.

But Detective Kay Hunter isn’t convinced, especially when a man is found dead with the ransom money still in his possession.

When a second schoolgirl is taken, Kay’s worst fears are realised.

With her career in jeopardy and desperate to conceal a disturbing secret, Kay’s hunt for the killer becomes a race against time before he claims another life.

For the killer, the game has only just begun…


2. One thing that struck me when I started to read the book was that Kay Hunter has gone through a really tough time before the story in the book. I found her a strong, but vulnerable character, just the kind of character I like. Can you tell the readers more about her and her wonderful husband Adam?

I think Kay is resilient, rather than strong. As you say, she’s had a tough time as we meet her for the first time, but she’s determined to claw her way back professionally and expose those behind the vendetta against her.

I read too many books where there’s a fractured home life for a detective – poor Kay has been through enough, both professionally and personally, so I wanted to show that Adam supports her, even if their jobs do mean they don’t spend a lot of time together. It’s the same reason I wanted Kay to be a bit OCD with her CD collection – it gives her a little sense of order amongst the chaos of her life!

3. I love Sid, seriously that snake was a wonderful addition to the story. Will there be more animals taken care of at home with Kay and Adam in the future? Or Sid perhaps needs a new stable home?

Absolutely. I love animals, so I’m going to have a lot of fun with Kay’s home life over the course of the series! I think perhaps Kay will be glad when Sid’s owner gets back from holiday though…

4. I found the book to be very interesting and engrossing and I hope you have more books planned, perhaps even one in mind (Yes?)?

I’ve finished the first draft of the second in the Kay Hunter series in time to launch Scared to Death, and I plan to publish that early in 2017. I hope to be in a position to unveil the cover in January. However, while that’s fermenting in a virtual drawer over the course of December, I’m plotting out books 3 and 4 in the series, which I also hope to write and publish during 2017.

5. Now to something completely different, if you could meet any author for a chat, dead or alive. Who would you pick, and why?

I’d pick Charles Dickens. I think he was a brilliant businessman as well as a great writer – you only have to look at how he serialised his books before they became complete novels. He eked them out as much as possible to support his family while he was writing the next one. Very clever.

6. Any authors that have inspired you?

Oh, lots! The authors I keep returning to though include Michael Connelly, Peter James, Val McDermid, Lee Child and Robert Crais – all fast-paced crime thrillers.

While I was writing Scared to Death, I read every single interview I could find with those authors and took copious notes about their advice on writing crime – it was like going back to school.

7. And the last question! What was the last book you read and what are you reading now?

The last book I read was Blood Lines by Angela Marsons, and I’m eyeing up The Crossing by Michael Connelly next. I need a spare nanosecond to sit down for a moment to start it though…!