Buried Sins by Louise Mullins
Format: Kindle Edition
File Size: 3197 KB
Print Length: 250 pages
Publisher: Dark Edge Press, an imprint of Usk River Publishing. (1 Oct. 2019)
Introducing Welsh Detective Inspector Emma Locke who appears in her very own upcoming procedural series.
Readers who enjoy books by C.L. Taylor, K.L. Slater, and Rachel Abbott will love this gritty, addictive, standalone psychological thriller.
When Carys returns to her childhood home, inherited after the death of her father, she is shocked to discover the bones of an infant buried in the paddock. Days later, DI Locke’s team uncover the remains of a missing girl, sparking vivid memories of the day Carys was abducted by The Shadow Man.
While the evidence against her father mounts, Carys recalls more of her past. And each new revelation provides DI Locke with the proof she needs to close the cases of several girls’ disappearances.
Sometimes the past refuses to stay buried.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Dubbed the Queen of Domestic Noir, Louise Mullins’ titles often delve into the darker aspects of the human psyche where more often than not somebody a little close to home knows more than they’re willing to admit. So far her novels involve the murky world of addiction, child abuse, serial killers, missing women, rape, kidnapping, murder, domestic violence, drug smuggling, human trafficking, and arms dealing.
Louise Mullins is a critically acclaimed, international best-selling author whose latest title, Love You Gone, previously published as The Woman in the Woods has been reissued by Dark Edge Press and is available to pre-order now!
Louise Mullins writes full-time using the experience she gained in a prior life working in the field of forensic mental health and psychological therapy, working with offenders and survivors of serious crimes.
You can contact Louise Mullins on GoodReads, Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram to keep updated with her latest releases using the following links:
Writing Diverse Characters
Creating characters that are not only interesting but also behave realistically is as equally important as developing a compelling, suspenseful plot. Their personalities must be consistent, and their narrative retain coherence, while their actions express their growth throughout the novel. Yet they must also reflect the diverse realities of people.
My characters develop as I write, though I’ll have an initial idea of what they look and sound like. While most crime thrillers include the following: hero/heroine (protagonist), anti-hero/heroine (antagonist), victim, Buried Sins involves several characters that blur the lines because in reality no one is all good or bad. It’s important to write characters who are both strong and flawed. Carys is both heroine and victim. Gwenda could be either as her testimony of the events that transpired are unreliable due to her failing memory which makes her quest to discover what happened to her missing daughter Siân, even more difficult.
The story revolves around Carys, but her find (human remains on her father’s land which she inherits after his death) involves not only her mother and father’s points of view, their friends and acquaintances, but also the parents of the missing children whose bones are discovered buried on the land. There are several suspects and a couple of possible motivating factors for the children’s abductions. I had to write their rape-murders following their disappearances sensitively and authentically while giving just enough detail to intrigue the reader without repelling them from such dark subject matter. To do this I try to build tension through the characters expression of emotion as crime details are revealed. Having characters who lie, suffer dementia, or experience childhood amnesia create the lack of reliability required to maintain a suspenseful story.
It’s important for characters to exhibit diverse attitudes and cultures, and so age, place of birth, upbringing, religious beliefs, and cognitive abilities are used to display the characters differences, while trauma, grief, and memory loss are used to show the commonalities between them.
Like Carys, I too have a condition known as scoliosis (curvature of the spine) which causes pain, mobility problems, and height loss. I’m also Bristol born and bred. Though DI Locke doesn’t have much of a role in this novel her presence is felt, and it is her investigation into the children’s deaths that moves the story forward. Bryn is an unlikeable character, Rhiannon possibly more so as Carys questions whether she knew of her husband’s crimes. I wanted to challenge the assumption Rhiannon was aware of the reason her husband spent so long in the basement while simultaneously maintaining a lack of awareness of the situation, and what better way to do this than to give her a preoccupation to increase her unreliability and serve to demonstrate how complex people are.
I did not consciously choose an all-Caucasian cast. In the same way I did not plan to include a majority of heterosexual, rural-living, working-class folk for Buried Sins. However, I do try my utmost to create a diverse cast of characters to fit each individual title. For instance, my Work-In-Progress – Beneath The Surface – published 3rd March 2020, the fourth book in my US-based procedural includes a straight, black, African-American, female Detective Sergeant; a gay, Mexican female; and a white, male with mental health issues, each being forced to re-evaluate their Christian beliefs for different reasons. The first title in my upcoming UK-based (Welsh) procedural, involving DI Locke, enables us to learn more about her personal life- parenting a child with Autistic Spectrum Disorder, and includes several British-Caribbean characters, one of whom lives with Multiple Sclerosis.
While it is often said that an author should write what they know, I think it is important to learn what you don’t. As a writer I have a duty to articulate the social issues individuals face daily throughout the world which is why I endeavour to absorb each role as I type out my characters thoughts, feelings, beliefs, dreams, and conflicts, in the hope of un-silencing them as I resolve their problems. For example, latest figures (after more than ten years of available data to evidence it) suggest that 1 in 3, not 1 in 4, women have experienced some form of sexual abuse/rape in their lifetime. The majority of whom have been assaulted by someone they know (80-90%). Statistics (again 1 in 3) show that many of the heterosexual female survivors of Intimate Partner Violence in 2017 were sexually abused/raped by their partner. I’ve used my own experiences of IPV to write authentic scenes of domestic abuse in previously published novels, and DI Locke’s stepson, Jaxon’s, behaviour is based on my ten-year-old son’s, who has a diagnosis of both Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder and ASD. But most of my characters psychology and the events in their lives are fictitious. I can “get inside their heads” by speaking to individuals inhabiting that gender, living with those conditions, following those beliefs, in that society, or I’ve thoroughly researched them, and then checked my information using sensitivity readers. An author’s role is not just to weave a good tale, but to tell it honestly with compassion and respect for the characters so that readers can relate to them.