A thrilling romance… or a romantic thriller???
Romance in a thriller can be problematic, as I found out when I was writing Ward Zero, and my editor advised me to change the sex of one of my main characters… A couple of months back, I wrote a post about that – you can read it here on Helen Pollard’s blog.
So who comes to mind, when we think about crime fiction and romance?
Dorothy L. Sayers did it beautifully with Lord Peter Wimsey and Harriet Vane, who met under very unromantic circumstances (she was on trial for murdering her lover, which in those days could mean a death penalty). And the fact that Harriet was a crime writer who hated writing romance into her plot adds an extra dimension to the stories. Their courtship stretches over several books, but they do get a happy end, even though it comes as a ‘Busman’s Honeymoon’.
More recently, we have Elizabeth George, whose ‘Inspector Lynley’ series sees both Lynley and Sergeant Barbara Havers each having their own (huge) romantic problems. The last Lynley book was A Banquet of Consequences in 2015, so maybe we’ll get the next episode soon.
And there are so many more. Like Elly Griffiths and her Ruth, more of a non-romance, this one, but very compelling. And Val McDemid’s Carol and Tony, who nearly had a happy end in the last book, and after all they’ve been through, I really hope they get to keep it.
That’s the thing – reading a book, we are caught up in the characters’ lives; we feel their pain and dilema and we want them to be happy – but a happy end could mean the last of the series. And that’s what we don’t want…
Maybe compromise is best. There’s definitely something a little sinister about those wedding roses – isn’t there??? I wonder what their story is?