If any readers of my Forensic Scientist Dr Rhona MacLeod series of crime thrillers have wondered how Rhona originally met her live-in lover Sean, then the answer can be found by reading BLOOD RED ROSES, a prequel to DRIFTNET (Book 1 in the series).
BLOOD RED ROSES was originally published in the Sandstone Press Vista Series of 'Quick Reads', and the challenge I set myself when commissioned to write this novella was to tell a 'full' crime thriller story in around 12,500 words. The other novels in the Forensic Scientist Dr Rhona MacLeod series can run to 90,000 words or more, so this was a significant challenge which at the outset I wasn't certain could be done.
However, by sticking to a single 'A' story, and keeping the 'B' story mainly to Rhona first meeting her lover Sean, I succeeded in moving from the opening incident, where a bride-to-be is murdered on her hen night, through twist and turns in the darker side of Glasgow, to Rhona solving the case, all in just over 12,500 words. The story was well received on first publication in the Sandstone Vista Series, and was credited with a number of instances of helping emergent readers to make the breakthrough to reading full-length novels.
When does desire become obsession? A hen night in Glasgow leaves the bride-to-be dead on a toilet floor. Her body is twisted, her face a mask of terror. Who would kill a girl just before her wedding? Dr Rhona MacLeod and her team are called in to find out. As they go through the evidence, they find themselves in a world where sex is bought and sold, and more violent death is lying in wait.