So what feels like ages ago now, I was lucky enough to be one of the first people to read Luca Veste’s debut novel – a terrific serial killer thriller “Dead Gone”. Today you can get your hands on an ebook copy and I caught up with Luca and asked him a few pertinent questions – here is what he had to tell me.
Tell us about how DI Murphy first started coming into focus for you.
Dead Gone went through so many changes before I settled on what would become the main focus. Murphy came through during either the second or third “try” at writing the novel. I tried writing a druggie/underworld style book, before ditching that for an “everyman” type of book (which is much more difficult than it looks) before settling on a mix of police procedural and psychological thriller. I knew I’d need a lead detective, so the first chapter I wrote including Murphy, I wrote about the only copper I knew at the time. My uncle (and godfather) John. He’s pretty much as I describe Murphy in the book. Six four, bearded, bulky, strong. Everything else is just fiction, but I wanted Murphy to be almost more ordinary than other detectives within the crime genre, which would make his responses to horrific events more relatable hopefully.
The novel feels authentic re investigative techniques – was there a lot of research involved?
Well…some. Unfortunately, authentic investigative techniques are far too boring and laborious to ever be exciting, so you have to use a bit of poetic license. I spoke to a number of police officers and detectives whilst writing, but then disregarded quite a bit of what they told me in order for things to work. I never asked what the set up was in Merseyside Police, as I knew I wanted to keep the character list short (to give a more claustrophobic feel to the story), but all the procedures are mostly correct. The internet is a glorious tool for research though. I’ve no idea how writers did without it before!
Was it difficult to write the more violent aspects of the story in a realistic way?
Some scenes were more difficult than others. I had issues with some of the more gory acts, as there’s a fine line between shocking and comical. I also didn’t want to go over the top, hoping for the most violent aspects to happen in the readers mind, rather than on the page. Writing from a victims point of view helped a lot with that, as shock kicks in quite quickly, so you can play with the differences between reality and the visceral experience in that situation.
Tell us a little bit about what’s next for Murphy and his team.
Next up is an exploration of vigilantism and youth culture. I wanted to do a slightly more social commentary on the issues surrounding the gap between generations in cities today, and then my dad said something that brought it all together. He was complaining about the scallies and anti-social teenagers, when he said “all the old boys should get in a van and go around teaching these kids a lesson”. I’ve written from both sides of the coin, and packaged it up in a murder investigation which quickly turns into something quite more.
Do you have any “quirks” while writing?
Not so much a “quirk”, but more as part of my OCD. I can’t end on an odd number of words. Also, the whole piece of writing has to be an even number. Odd numbers are evil. Even numbers are good.
Desert Island book
The Stand by Stephen King. Still the best novel I’ve ever read, the best post-apocalyptic novel I’ve experienced, and the best King book by a long way.
Plus there’s loads of pages, so plenty of fuel to make fire if needs be (JOKES).
First thing apart from family and pets you would rescue from a burning building?
Well, all my photos are backed up online, so I’ve no problem losing those. So, probably my special shelf. It’s full of all my signed books I’ve collected over the years.
Thank you so much Luca!
First of all thank you so much for the advance copy of this book from the author. Who is a lovely chap!
In Dead Gone we meet DI David Murphy – a man who has suffered a terrible loss – as he attempts to track down a killer. Not unusual you might think. But actually it is. This is a new breed of serial killer and David, alongside his partner in crime DS Laura Rossi will find themselves entering the darkest recesses of the human mind.
So lets talk for a moment about that group of books commonly known as “serial killer thrillers”. There are many out there – good ones, bad ones, scary ones…go into a bookshop and you will find plenty. To my mind the best ones have been written by Thomas Harris, John Connolly and more recently Joe Conlan. I would also like to give a nod to The 50/50 Killer by Steve Mosby – a fairly stunning example of its genre. Now you can happily add Luca Veste to that list…This I can say with certainty. Its not easy to avoid cliche when writing a book of this kind, its also not easy to give it a new “voice” but this is what Mr Veste has managed to do and with terrific success. Engaging, frightening, genuinely shocking in places it will grip you to the last. Flowing storyline, terrific writing and a nod to those that have come before, this is an amazing debut.
So. Characters. You all know I love great characters yes? You will find a fair few in the pages of this novel. David Murphy, haunted, searching for reasons, has great depth to his character. I loved that he often set off down the wrong path – made assumptions then had to correct – not the perfect policeman who you are always sure will eventually solve the case but a realistic nod to investigative technique. He is open to development – a great thing especially when you know that this is the start of a series. Laura is intriguing also, especially in her background and ties to family. I look forward to finding out more about them.
The mystery elements are well imagined and will keep you guessing – the very heart of any crime read. Its complex – no easy trail to follow here but always intriguing and never dull. The resolution will not disappoint. This is going to be a terrific addition to the genre. And if this is the first book, gosh, what is to come? I will wait to find out. Impatiently.
Find out more here: http://lucaveste.com/
Follow Luca on Twitter here: https://twitter.com/LucaVeste
Purchase Information Clickety Click http://www.amazon.co.uk/DEAD-GONE-Luca-Veste-ebook/dp/B00E31D9J6/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1386229481&sr=1-1&keywords=dead+gone+luca+veste
Happy Reading Folks!