Now that she’s finally free, Olivia has three goals. Repair her relationship with her daughter. Clear her name. And bring down her husband—the man who framed her.
Just how far is she willing to go to get what she wants? And how far will her husband go to stop her?
Because his lies run deeper than Olivia could ever have imagined—and this time it’s not her freedom that’s in jeopardy, but her life…
C.L. Taylor recently spent some time with The Big Thrill discussing her latest thriller, THE GUILTY COUPLE:
Which took shape first: plot, character, or setting?
The plot took shape first. I wanted to write a book about a heist but not about jewels or money. I wanted my character to steal the evidence that she was framed. Once I knew that, I had to work out who was framed and why.
What attracts you to this book’s genre?
I hugely enjoy writing contemporary thrillers because they feature everyday people in extraordinary situations. I can identify with my protagonists, and so can my readers, and we can all imagine the terror of being caught up in a situation you can’t control.
What was the biggest challenge this book presented? What about the biggest opportunity?
The biggest challenge was trying to bring together the multiple threads of the plot, the character motivations, and the timeline. The biggest opportunity was creating three antagonists—that was a lot of fun and something I hadn’t done before.
Was there anything new you discovered, or that surprised you, as you wrote this book?
I thought I wouldn’t enjoy writing from the point of view of a female beat cop (one of my antagonists) because it would involve a lot of research, but writing from DS Dani Anderson’s point of view was one of my favourite parts of the book.
No spoilers, but what can you tell us about your book that we won’t find in the jacket copy or the PR material?
My character’s sidekick is her ex-cellmate, a thief called Smithy. Smithy is obsessed with Houdini’s book, The Right Way to Do Wrong, and a lot of the techniques Smithy uses to lift other people’s belongings were gleaned from that book.
What authors or books have influenced your career as a writer, and why?
It was Enid Blyton’s The Magic Faraway Tree series that inspired me to become an author when I was eight years old, and countless other authors have inspired me over the years since. Everyone from George Orwell to Margaret Atwood to Roald Dahl to Maggie O’Farrell to Harlan Coben.
What’s the one question you wish someone would ask you about this book, or your work in general? And please answer the question too!
Q: You’ve written nine crime novels now—does it get easier the more books you write?
A: Absolutely not. I stretch myself with each book, and that means each new book comes with its own set of unique challenges. THE GUILTY COUPLE was the trickiest book I have written yet when it comes to plot, but—I hope—it’s the cleverest and the most fast-paced.
C.L. Taylor is a Sunday Times bestselling author. Her psychological thrillers have sold nearly two million copies in the UK alone, been translated into over twenty languages, and optioned for television. Her 2019 novel, Sleep, was a Richard and Judy pick. C.L. Taylor lives in Bristol, UK with her partner and son.
To learn more about the author and her work, please visit her website.