Kerry Wilkinson: why my novels are set in the same world

21 October 2015

By Pan Macmillan

Kerry Wilkinson, author of the Jessica Daniel series and the Andrew Hunter series, talks about his new novel, Down Among The Dead Men, also set in Manchester.
The latest series of Doctor Who is well under way – but, if it’s missing one thing, then it’s a cameo. Not actors and actresses from other series but characters from other series. The Doctor lands in Asgard and comes up against Loki; or he needs a new companion, so who better than angsty teenager, Peter Parker?

I’ve enjoyed Marvel comics for a long time and I always liked it when someone like Daredevil showed up Spider-Man’s comic. That was long before I knew about the ‘Marvel Universe’, let alone the Marvel cinematic universe became a $12bn juggernaut.

When I started writing my own series of crime books, that way of writing characters was always at the back of my mind. I started out with Jessica Daniel, a detective sergeant in the Manchester police force. She now has nine books in her series. Then I wrote a novel with a private investigator named Andrew Hunter. He lives and works in the same city and hindered/helped Jessica in Playing With Fire, before taking centre stage in Something Wicked.

If a city has a finite number of ‘bad guys’, then isn’t it likely people on the other side will stumble across the same characters? And what about those bad guys?

After the Jessica and Andrew series is my next novel, Down Among The Dead Men. It’s completely standalone for readers who’ve never read anything I’ve written, yet, at the same time, all of my crime novels are set in the same world. Things happen in one novel that might be the after-effect of something else occurring in a different book. If you only read one novel, you don’t need to know what that is – but if you read everything, there’s a tapestry.

There’s little more satisfying as a writer than getting an email from a reader who is excited because he or she spotted one of those links.

Down Among The Dead Men is my first crime novel from the point of view of a character who isn’t a traditional good guy. Jason Green works for an underworld crime boss, though he isn’t a mindless thug. He saves his money, lives a solitary life and has plans for the future. This is the story of what happens when those carefully laid plans start to unravel...

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Down Among the Dead Men
Something Wicked
Playing with Fire