My fourth Annie Seymour mystery, SHOT GIRL, came out on Election Day. So far, reviews and comments from readers have been good. All are saying it’s the best in the series.
It was the hardest one to write.
I decided to do something different with SHOT GIRL. With each book, I embrace a different style. My first book was a traditional mystery, the second is what I call my Mafia book, and the third is much more fast paced and thriller like. In SHOT GIRL, Annie is an unreliable narrator.
I had a friend express surprise that I would do this in the fourth — and last — book in the series. Wasn’t it a risk? she asked. Sure it was, but I wanted to see if I could do it, if I could pull it off. When I’d started writing the book, I’d just finished reading Scott Turow‘s PRESUMED INNOCENT, in which he masterfully portrayed an unreliable narrator. Could I do that with Annie? I thought. It was worth a shot.
My goal was to have the reader ask throughout the book: Is Annie telling me the truth? What is she keeping secret? I know she’s not telling me everything. But why?
I had to really think about how I was going to write this book, and since I don’t outline there was a lot of going back and checking for inconsistencies. At one point Annie has a key that the reader doesn’t realize she has. How did she get it? I had no idea. I kept a sort of graph about halfway through writing the book so I could keep track of the questions I had to answer before my editor got her hands on the manuscript.
I’m not sure I would ever do this again because it was difficult. But all reports indicate that I was successful. Annie most definitely is going out with a bang.