Wilbrook in Western Australia is a sleepy, remote town that sits on the edge of miles and miles of unexplored wilderness. It is home to Police Sergeant Chandler Jenkins, who is proud to run the town’s small police station, a place used to dealing with domestic disputes and noise complaints.
All that changes on a scorching day when an injured man stumbles into Chandler’s station. He’s covered in dried blood. His name is Gabriel. He tells Chandler what he remembers.
He was drugged and driven to a cabin in the mountains and tied up in iron chains. The man who took him was called Heath. Heath told Gabriel he was going to be number 55. His 55th victim.
Heath is a serial killer.
As a manhunt is launched, a man who says he is Heath walks into the same station. He tells Chandler he was taken by a man named Gabriel. Gabriel told Heath he was going to be victim 55.
Gabriel is the serial killer.
Two suspects. Two identical stories. Which one is the truth?
You know when interviewers ask “Where do you get your ideas from” and you inwardly groan? Well that, except I’m interested in 55 and the catalyst- what was the first scene you saw in your head that ultimately became the book?
It would be when Gabriel walks into the station for the first time and relates his story accusing another man of attempting to kill him. I wanted the small-town police station to be completely unequipped for anything of this magnitude, with Chandler not as a maverick, break-the-rules kind of cop but one who is thrust into this unwanted limelight. But in choosing this scene I have to choose the matching scene where Heath blames Gabriel. I knew from the start that I wanted the two men to tell exactly the same story and for the Police Sergeant to have to figure out who the killer is.
Without spoilers I think I can honestly say that you’ve put an absolutely killer ending into the mix. What is the one emotion you HOPE readers will feel when they get to that moment.
I’m not sure if emotion is the right word. I think that the ending should provide somewhat of an insight into the reader themselves. How they feel at that point, what they have picked up throughout and possibly their own general outlook as a whole.
Is there one novel you’ve read recently that made you want to immediately put it into the hands of everyone you know.
Thirteen by Steve Cavanagh. Excellently told, and keeps you guessing right up until the end.
Tell us 3 things about you that perhaps they wouldn’t put in your bio…
1. I don’t drink hot drinks, so the staple writer’s drink of strong coffee is out the window.
2. I barely passed English in school with the grammar side of things being particularly troublesome.
3. I once shot my brother through the lip with a homemade bow and arrow.
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