Suspense is high in romantic thrillers
18 February 2015
By Nancy Bush
Knock off the suspense... That was the message on the very first editorial note I received on a manuscript. My sister, Lisa Jackson, and I were trying to break into the romance market and we’d written a book together. It was a beginning attempt for both of us, and it was a miracle that we actually completed it and sent it to a publisher. Did it ever sell? No. Not on your life. Maybe Stormy Surrender is rattling around in one of our attics somewhere, but if so it’s better left there, believe me. However, the “no suspense” edict really bummed us both out. We managed to comply for a long time, but let’s face it, there’s nothing quite like a dead body to get a story moving.
Fast forward a decade or so. Now both my sister and I write romantic thrillers, and I’m finally creating the kind of books that I’ve always loved to read. Odd and aberrant characters abound, and the plots have a strong mystery and suspense arc. My novels still have a romantic core, but I gotta say, it’s a whole lot more fun to no longer have to “knock off the suspense” and just let the bad times roll!
I’ve always had an interest in twins, though not necessarily identical ones. Non-identical twins are still born at the same time, in the same class at school, sharing the same pool of friends, together practically constantly, so how would it be if they were on the same police force, too? That was the idea behind my latest suspense thrillers, Nowhere to Run, Nowhere to Hide
and Nowhere Safe
Brother and sister August and September Rafferty work together in the local police department. They were born on each side of midnight on August 31st and were named according to their birth month by their autocratic father, Braden Rafferty. Braden also blessed the rest of his children with names from their birth months, and this idiosyncrasy only adds to the craziness that makes up the dysfunctional Rafferty family, the backdrop for the series. Nowhere to Run
starts when Liv Dugan comes back from lunch at the software company where she works to find her colleagues massacred and feels a growing certainty that something in her past may be the cause. Both of the Rafferty twins begin working that first case together, and then September is personally targeted by a killer bent on revenge in Nowhere to Hide
. Nowhere Safe
is the story of cat and mouse game between a sexual predator and the ruthless vigilante out to kill him, a case that draws September directly into a gun's crosshairs.
Nancy Bush is a
New York Times bestselling author.