Meet Detective Sergeant Alicia Friend. She's nice. Too nice to be a police officer, if she's honest.
Now assigned to DI Donald Murphy's team, the annoyingly-perky detective finds herself in the grip of a northern British winter, investigating the kidnap-murders of two young women - both strikingly similar in appearance. When a third is taken, they have less than a week to chip away the secrets of a high-society family, and uncover the killer's objective.
But Richard - the father of the latest victim - believes the police are not moving quickly enough, so launches a parallel investigation, utilising skills honed in a dark past that is about to catch up with him.
As Richard's secret actions hinder the police, Alicia remains in contact, and even starts to fall for his charms, forcing her into choices that will impact the rest of her life.
For a chilling serial killer thriller with a quirky main character, pick up His First His Second today!
CrimeFictionLover.com "An intriguing mix of police procedural and serial killer thriller, that will tease, involve and unnerve you. An entertaining and intriguing debut."
Undercover Book Reviews: "Want a book with twists and turns? This is the one. It will not disappoint."
Q: Alicia Friend is kind of an oddball, isn't she?
A: I'd say she's unique. She knows who she wants to be and she doesn't compromise, but most police officers she meets are dour and grumpy, and she sees how that impacts their personal lives. She doesn't want to be as hard-nosed as many women sleuths in fiction, so radiates the sort of perkiness that sometimes grates on her fellow officers. But it's who she is.
Q: Despite having a quirky woman sleuth as main character, the novel goes to some dark places.
A: Yes. I found that at one point I was trying to include ALL my research, and I'm really aiming for a thrill ride more than a straight police procedural. I originally included the sort of forensic details you get with Patricia Cornwell or Kathy Reichs, but it wasn't right for this book. I keep it as accurate as possible, but it's about the characters and how they uncover secrets, both externally and within the police.
Q: So who is your ideal reader?
A: Fans of serial killer fiction in general. If you like James Patterson, PJ Tracy or Steven James, Mark Billingham or Ian Rankin, Alicia Friend's series could be worth checking out.
Q: What levels of violence and bad language are there?
A: Some of the violence is graphic, but the language … that goes as strong as references to one's posterior and some faecal synonyms, if you get my meaning. No "F" or "C" words, as I don't think Alicia's audience appreciates that.
Q: And how, exactly, do you come up with a character like Alicia?
A: She is based on a real person. But very loosely. The essence is there, although I had to invent certain aspects for dramatic effect. The parts from real life are: a ditzy, perky outer shell, yet possesses a fierce intelligence, true dedication, and being brilliant at her job.
Q: So the real Alicia Friend is a serving police officer?
A: No, she isn't. And if she was, I certainly wouldn't say so here.
Alicia Friend Books in Order:
His First His Second
In Black In White
With Courage With Fear
A Friend in Spirit
To Hide To Seek (novella for summer 2018)