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When a mummified body is discovered in a renovated building, the gruesome discovery leads Detective Kay Hunter and her team into a complex murder investigation.

The subsequent police inquiry exposes corruption, lies, and organized crime within the tight-knit community—and Kay’s determination to seek justice for the young murder victim could ruin the reputations of men who will do anything to protect their business interests.

But as Kay closes in on the killer, tragedy strikes closer to home in an event that will send a shockwave through her personal life and make her question everything she values.

Can Kay keep her private and professional life under control while she tries to unravel one of the strangest murder cases of her career?

The Big Thrill caught up with Rachel Amphlett to discuss the creation of her seventh book in her Kay Hunter British detective murder mystery series, BRIDGE TO BURN:

Which took shape first: plot, character, or setting?

The opening scene was the first thing that emerged after I saw a news story about a mummified monkey dropping through the ceiling of a New York department store—from there, my imagination went into overload!

Was there anything new you discovered, or that surprised you, as you wrote this book?

The antagonist always surprises me—I’m never really sure who it is until I get to the end, despite planning a good 20 percent of the structure before I start writing.

What attracts you to this book’s genre?

I love learning all the police procedural facts and then weaving these into a fast-paced story, and that’s exactly what I love about reading books in this genre as well. There are so many great police procedural authors around who keep me guessing until the final pages.

What was the biggest challenge this book presented? What about the biggest opportunity?

The biggest challenge was trying to write this book while emigrating back to the UK from Australia and juggling a deadline in amongst getting our dog on a plane and our household possessions into a 20-foot container!

The biggest opportunity was learning from experts about mummification and whether my original idea was even possible.


Rachel Amphlett writes crime fiction and spy novels, most notably the Detective Kay Hunter series and the Dan Taylor espionage novels, as well as a number of standalone crime thrillers.

After spending 13 years in Brisbane, Australia, Rachel has now returned to the UK. She’s a member of International Thriller Writers, Mystery Writers of America, and the Crime Writers Association, with the Italian foreign rights for her debut novel, White Gold sold to Fanucci Editore’s TIMECrime imprint, and the first four books in the Dan Taylor espionage series contracted to Germany’s Luzifer Verlag.

A keen traveler, Rachel holds both EU and Australian passports and can usually be found plotting her next trip two years in advance, usually with a crime fiction festival tacked on for good measure!

To learn more about Rachel, please visit her website.

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