It’s a while since we’ve had a location guest post here, so I was really pleased when crime writer Maggie James agreed to do one for the publication of her new book, She’ll Never Tell. I’ve read the book (a really exciting family drama with a very unexpected ending), but the Bristol area is somewhere I’ve never been – so we’ll hand straight over to Maggie to tell us about it:
Thank you, Linda, for featuring She’ll Never Tell on your blog! All my psychological thrillers are set in Bristol, but since my move to the north-east of England, Newcastle and its surroundings now get a look-in. For those of you unfamiliar with the UK, Bristol is an ancient city located in the south-west. Its beautiful suspension bridge is a well-known symbol of the area, and features in my fifth novel, After She’s Gone. Needless to say, as is the case with psychological thrillers, nothing good happens there for my character Dana Golden – quite the opposite!
I grew up on the east side of Bristol, and I’ve used locations such as St George and Kingswood in many of my books. She’ll Never Tell features the gorgeous Vassals Park, and in particular the area known as Snuff Mills, where an old water mill sometimes still turns. Despite the name, it was never used for grinding snuff but for cutting and crushing stone from nearby quarries. It’s thought the name comes from a miller nicknamed ‘Snuffy Jack’, whose apron was always covered in snuff.
I used Snuff Mills as the setting in which Sonia Harding, the protagonist’s mother in She’ll Never Tell, dies. I spent a happy hour revisiting the area as part of my research, and the section of the river shown below is where I killed off poor Sonia. Snuff Mills is very picturesque, with a river flowing through woodland and grassy banks, and it’s where, as a child, I’d fish for minnows and sticklebacks (before returning them unharmed, of course.)
Besides Bristol, I decided to set part of She’ll Never Tell closer to home in the village of Tynemouth, situated where the River Tyne meets the North Sea. Perched high on a headland overlooking the bay is the majestic Tynemouth Castle and Priory, and the castle plays an important role in the narrative. One of my main characters spends possibly the worst night of her life in Tynemouth, and makes a decision the next day that will have catastrophic consequences. I love being unkind to my unfortunate characters!
Thank you, Maggie! She’ll Never Tell is available in kindle format from Amazon, with the paperback version to follow soon. Click the cover image to see the book on Amazon, and to tell you more about it, here’s the blurb :
The sudden death of her mother shatters Olivia Gilchrist’s world. Grief turns to shock when a post-mortem reveals Sonia has lied to her daughter in the cruellest possible way. Angry and hurt, Olivia vows to uncover the truth.
Meanwhile, Olivia’s neighbour, Elena, harbours a dark secret. Now the past has caught up with her, forcing Elena to go into hiding.
Then Olivia discovers Elena was involved in Sonia’s deceit. She has questions she’s desperate to ask her former neighbour. Olivia suspects, however, that Elena is warped and unstable. Tracking her down may be difficult and dangerous.
The temptation proves too strong, and a game of cat and mouse with a vengeful woman ensues. One that has the potential to turn deadly…
A gripping novel of psychological suspense, She’ll Never Tell is the story of a decades-old secret that refuses to stay hidden.
Maggie James is a British author who lives near Newcastle-upon-Tyne. She writes psychological suspense novels.
Before turning her hand to writing, Maggie worked mainly as an accountant, with a diversion into practising as a nutritional therapist. Diet and health remain high on her list of interests, along with travel. Accountancy does not, but then it never did. The urge to pack a bag and go off travelling is always lurking in the background! When not writing, going to the gym, practising yoga or travelling, Maggie can be found seeking new four-legged friends to pet; animals are a lifelong love!