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Rena Sutherland wakes from a coma into a mother’s nightmare. Her daughter is missing – lost for four days – but no one has noticed; no one has complained; no one has been searching.
As the victim support officer assigned to her case, Christine Emmett puts aside her own problems as she tries to guide Rena through the maelstrom of her daughter’s disappearance.
A task made harder by an ex-husband desperate for control; a paedophile on early-release in the community; and a psychic who knows more than seems possible.
And intertwined throughout, the stories of six women; six daughters lost.
Genre: Psychological Suspense Mystery
Publication Date: July 2, 2014
Publication Date: July 2, 2014
There were the police asking endless questions. There was the media attention and my daughter’s photo pasted across the front page of a lot of newspapers. She didn’t look anything like those photos. She was living, breathing, full of motion and life and energy. She would snuggle in next to me on a weekend morning and run a length of my hair through her pudgy wee hands and exclaim in admiration ‘Mummy. You’re so pretty.’
I thought that not knowing was the worst thing I could ever endure. Not knowing if she was in trouble or needing my help or in pain. I worried that she’d been taken by someone that would hurt her, then I worried that she’d been taken by someone who would love her and care for her and in a year or two she’d have forgotten I ever existed. Not knowing was killing me.
But it turned out that knowing was far worse. When I went to the hospital to identify my beautiful girl’s broken body - that was worse than not knowing. When I buried her in the cemetery and compared the size of the gravesite to the other freshly buried bodies - that was worse than not knowing. When I drank myself to sleep on the anniversary of her sixth birthday, and realised that I would likely be doing that until my life ended - that was worse than not knowing.
Author Guest Post
Where do ideas come from?
The first idea for my book Found, Near Water came from reading about the Wests in the UK. When the police dug up their back yard trying to find the body of Rose West’s oldest daughter – which in family rumours was buried in the backyard – they started to unearth bones. There was a point, when they uncovered three thigh bones, that the realisation dawned not only was the daughter’s body in the backyard, but other women as well.
I also wanted to have a moment like that – to have someone searching for something specific, not even sure that they’d find it – and then to discover not only what they were searching for but to have that ‘three thigh-bones’ moment when the fact hits them that they’ve discovered more than they went searching for.
The second idea was to do with the woman who later became Christine. It was from the Boxing Day tsunami footage where so many people had died all at the same time. I watched a colleague from work – on an anniversary, not at the time – and they were talking about the clean-ups in the villages, the bodies and how they were handled. It sparked an idea about how I could take something that usually caused so much grief – the loss of a child – but embed it in a tragedy that was so large that the individual grief wasn’t recognised. When there’s a quarter of a million people dying the fact that your daughter was one of them doesn’t earn you the same recognition as when they’re the only one dying that day.
That sounds really awful when I type it out, but that was the genesis of Christine. Someone coping with an overwhelming individual grief lost and meaningless in the scope of an over-arching tragedy.
My next idea was around the protagonist of the story – Rena – and the abduction of her daughter. I was watching a few minutes out of a soap on television before the news came on – I’d guess that it was Home and Away just because of the timing but I wouldn’t put much money on it - and the scene ended with a woman sitting upright in bed asking ‘Where’s my daughter?’
I don’t know what the storyline for her was, but I instantly filled in the starting characteristics of Rena’s story. There was the appeal of something bad happening – something that would usually be widely advertised and appealed – and instead, nothing. The crime scene that would usually be scoured for clues hadn’t even been cordoned off, the witness identification and records that would help the initial parts of the investigation hadn’t been sought out let alone recorded. And then I wondered how far I could push it out. What would happen if she told people, and they didn’t even believe her? How would you start an investigation when every starting point was already wiped clean?
So that’s where I got the main three ideas that formed the base of the storyline and characters from Found, Near Water. A devastating tragedy that occurred a decade ago; a half-watched glimpse from a soap opera on television maybe eight years ago; and a paragraph description from a book on true crime that I read six years ago. All stuck in the back of my head turning over and over until they started to coalesce into one storyline.
Makes you wonder what’s brewing back there now!
About Katherine Hayton
For some reason she's developed a rich fantasy life.
Buy her book and she'll be able to retire in luxury. Or in comfort. Or in just-scraping-by-but-at-least-I'm-not-in-the-office-24-7-ness.
Katherine Hayton will award a $50 Amazon/BN Gift Card
to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during this tour.
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