Jane Corry, the author, is an ex-journalist who worked for many years in a high-security male prison as a writer in residence.
I know this might sound silly but I've always been a bit scared of novels that freak me out! It started when I was about 12 and took down a book from a shelf at Harrow library to read the first line. It went something like this. 'It was only when they put me in the ambulance that I knew I was dead.' I think the novel was by Martin Amis but I can't be sure because I put it straight back. The very idea of being able to think when you're dead was so powerful that it's haunted me to this very day. But it's also proof that the first line is crucial!
At about the same time, I came across Wilkie Collins's novel The Woman In White. Again, this scared me! I've always been very aware of spirits and have lived in several places with 'presences'. Perhaps it's because of my imagination, but when I read books with spectres I feel as though I am there myself. And I'd rather not be!
But when I came across Maggie O'Farrell's novel, After You'd Gone, I discovered a different kind of suspense. Here was a story that dealt with the past in a manner that held me spellbound. It sent goosebumps down my skin but in a way that made me want to read on.
I felt the same way about Louise Doughty's 'Apple Tree Yard'. Like many other readers, I wanted to know what happened. But a heroine who threw caution to the wind also intrigued me. This was my first experience of the current psychological thriller trend.
To be honest, I delayed reading 'Girl On The Train' because everyone else was doing so. Then I bought a copy when I was in Vancouver last year and couldn't put it down. I write multi-viewpoint point characters too so I liked the style. I've also always loved unreliable narrators. They're great for plot twists and they reflect life. Many people are not who they seem!
When I started writing My Husband's Wife, I wanted to create a novel that was different from anything else. My plan was to push a common domestic situation (first and second marriage) to its limits and also add a dollop of crime, partly inspired by my time as a writer in residence of a high security prison. I discovered that people there did not necessarily act or look like criminals. It would be very easy for them to be an ordinary next-door neighbour or even a dinner party guest. However, I don't like novels or films with violence unless it's really necessary. So I was rather surprised to find myself writing some rather bloody scenes!
I'm not quite sure what my family and friends are going to think when they read it. Maybe 'My Husband's Wife' will keep them up at night. Just like that first line from Harrow library still does to me!
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My Husband's Wife by Jane Corry e-book out now (Penguin)
When lawyer Lily marries Ed, she's determined to make a fresh start. To leave the secrets of the past behind. But then she meets Joe. A convicted murderer who Lily is strangely drawn to. Who she will soon be willing to risk anything for. But is he really innocent? And who is she to judge?