Early preview of husband and wife duo's 21st thriller
Simon & Schuster invited trade guests to a fifth-floor room in Borough, with views over South London, for an early preview (including very early proofs) of The Lying Room, the new thriller by Nicci French - who, as all thriller fans know, is the husband and wife team of Nicci Gerrard and Sean French. The publisher's excitement at signing the duo, after their 20 novels with Michael Joseph/Penguin, was very apparent.
Gerrard and French were interviewed by journalist and fellow novelist Sam Baker, a self-confessed "ultimate Nicci French fangirl". Their discussion ranged over the mechanics of collaboration - working on fiction was "interwoven into our marriage", French said; London settings; writing psychological thrillers long before girls on trains, perfect girlfriends, girls before, and the rest; heroines and their bad decisions; and writing in a twistier, more nerve-wracking mode after the eight-novel sequence starring psychologiest Frieda Klein. "[The Lying Room] was a fresh start for us," Gerrard said. "A new way of being Nicci French."
Photos (above) Sean French, Nicci Gerrard and Sam Baker (the bicycle is a reference to the heroine's journeys in The Lying Room; (below) S&S fiction publisher Jo Dickinson introduces the event