You often hear those in the music business talk about ‘the difficult second album’ and how problematic it can be. Well, all I can say is that in my world the second book proved a lot easier to write than the first one.
After The Needle House, I wanted to get straight into The Way That It Falls. In fact, the idea for Falls appeared out of the fog just as I was completing Needle. Whether he liked it or not DS Lasser had taken center stage and I wanted to know more about this taciturn character with the bad attitude. I was interested to find out what made him tick, in fact I still am, but I also wanted to make thes econd book less dense and more ‘in your face’.I wanted the book to be a roller-coaster ride, which I think was a natural response to the complexities inherent in Needle.
So, at the start of Falls we find Lasser in a fledgling relationship with a colleague, things are looking on the up for our Wigan hero. Then a drugs war breaks out and people start to die and in walks a character who has become something of an anti-hero.
Mr Plymouth was fun to write from the off, he can be the stuff of cartoon violence but there is more to this white-haired killer than first meets the eye. Truth be told, he is the flip side of Lasser without the restraints of the law holding him back, he is the enigmatic hero who rides into the Wild West and strides through the bat-wing doors, guns blazing.
It would have been easy to make him Lasser’s nemesis but I was hoping for more than that, plus Plymouth has his own complex set of values, his own strange code that baffled me at first. In the end, he intrigued me and I suppose as a writer that is what you are looking for in a character, someone you want to spend time with and hopefully the reader will feel the same way.
Also, as I neared the end of Falls a pattern began to emerge as the idea for number three Tethered To The Dead came galloping over the horizon, but more of that soon…