Charles Dean owns a prestigious advertising company in Oxfordshire. A recent scandal has threatened to ruin him, and Dean is determined to deal with it on his own. Someone else has other ideas, and their own reasons for bringing him down. Author, Jenny Hilborne, gives us a peek into her new psychological thriller, STONE COLD.
With its thatched cottages, historic houses, white gravel driveways, charming pubs, and beautiful countryside, the English Cotswolds are idyllic, a gloriously peaceful place in the heart of the England.
A murder in such a tranquil place is unexpected, and all the more shocking. Three murders stun the entire the Oxfordshire community, especially when the deceased are all senior level corporate executives.
As the murder team working the case remind us, murder in England is uncommon, it’s still a rare crime. When two of the murders occur on the same date, it’s extraordinary, and enough to set off a nagging gut reaction that Dean knows more than he is saying.
What connects the dead? What secret is ruthless boss, Charles Dean, desperate to keep concealed?
Charles Dean rejects the detective’s doubts. After all, successful people are enviable targets and someone is always out to bring them down. True? As I wrote this part, I decided that it’s a plausible argument, which raised another question: What makes someone enormously successful in the corporate world? Why is this kind of success often accompanied by arrogance, dirty deals, and ruthless management styles?
In some of the more competitive industries, senior level executives often abuse their power and buried crimes appear to be disturbingly common. You only have to read the papers or watch the news to see it for yourself.
Who wouldn’t enjoy witnessing the destruction of a corrupt person in power? I know I would, and I wanted to explore this angle and use it. I wanted to get behind the smooth exterior of a cultured senior level exec, expose the unscrupulous side that might exist, and examine the psychological distress it might cause the victims. The story has nagged me at me for several years.
While psychological thriller STONE COLD is a work of fiction, elements of the story are grounded in truth and parts of the plot are loosely based on real life tragedy. I set the story in my home country and chose a setting where crimes of this nature would be least expected in order to highlight the contrast between the powerful and the vulnerable, both physically and mentally. As I wrote, I discovered the true power might lie with those who have less to lose – a prospect I found more chilling as my plot developed.
STONE COLD was written as a standalone, but after I added the last words and read over the story, I wondered if there might be a sequel. When one corrupt businessman is brought down, there’ll another along to replace him.
I hope you enjoy STONE COLD and I look forward to your feedback.
Jenny Hilborne is the author of four suspense novels including Madness and Murder, No Alibi, and Hide and Seek.
INTRODUCING DANGEROUS IMPULSES LATEST IN THE RBPD CRIME SERIES
First you might ask, what does RBPD stand for? It’s Rocky Bluff Police Department.
Rocky Bluff is a small, fictional beach community located on the California coast between Ventura and Santa Barbara. The police department is also small and inadequately staffed. They lack the latest technology and anything requiring lab or forensic work must be sent to the Ventura Police Department. Because of this, most of the RBPD work is done the old fashioned way, collecting clues, questioning by-standers, suspects and anyone connected to the victim(s).
My goal when I began this series was to show how what’s happening on the job affects the family, and how what is happening with the family affects the job.
The series has a large cast of characters, some of whom are featured in one book and not the next, but will probably make an appearance.
In the latest, Dangerous Impulses, you’ll find the following ongoing characters:
Detective Doug Milligan, his new wife, Stacey, and her little boy, Davey.
Detective Frank Marshall, Doug’s partner and nearing retirement.
Officer Gordon Butler, a “by the book” policeman who doesn’t have it easy.
Officer Felix Zachary, his wife Wendy, and their newborn, Ruby.
Sergeant Abel Navarro, his wife, Maria, a nurse at the local hospital, and their daughter, Lupe.
Ryan Strickland, RBPD’s Public Relations Officer, who also fills in when needed. His wife, Barbara, and her three sons.
Officer Vince Aragon who is on limited duty.
And making her debut in this book, the new hire, Lizette Gibbs.
Though this is a police procedural and the solving of the crimes is important, what is going on with the characters in their private lives is equally as important.
When I wrote the first book, Final Respects, I had no idea it would be a series. However, once I finished I knew I wanted to know what happened to all these people and the only way for that to happen was write another book. And I’ve kept on, right up to Dangerous Impulses which is #9. And yes, I’ve started another one.
Now a bit about Dangerous Impulses:
An attractive new-hire captivates Officer Gordon Butler, Officer Felix Zachary’s wife Wendy is befuddled by her new baby, Ryan and Barbara Strickland receive unsettling news about her pregnancy, while the bloody murder of a mother and her son and an unidentified drug that sickens teenaged partiers jolts the Rocky Bluff P.D.
The person who comments on the most blog posts on this tour may have a character named after him or her in the next Rocky Bluff P.D. crime novel or choose a book from the previous titles in the Rocky Bluff P.D. series in either paper or for Kindle.
Rocky Bluff P.D. Series:
Though each book in the Rocky Bluff P.D. series is written as a stand-alone, I know there are people who like to read a series in order. From the beginning to the end:
Smell of Death
An Axe to Grind
F. M. Meredith’s Bio:
F.M. is also known as Marilyn Meredith, the author of the Deputy Tempe Crabtree series. She first became interested in writing about law enforcement when she lived in a neighborhood filled with police officers and their families. The interest was fanned when her daughter married a police officer and the tradition has continued with a grandson and grandson-in-law who are deputies. She’s also serves on the board of the Public Safety Writers Association, and has many friends in different law enforcement fields. For twenty plus years, she and her husband lived in a small beach community located in Southern California much like the fictional Rocky Bluff. She is a member of three chapters of Sisters in Crime, Epic, and Mystery Writers of America.
And I’m on Facebook and Twitter as MarilynMeredith
Tomorrow you can find me here: http://bloggingwebbb.blogspot.com/