The Big Thrill Discusses BETRAYED BY THE TRUTH with Daniella Bernett
An inconvenient alibi…a priceless treasure…an MI6 mole It’s a lethal cocktail Journalist Emmeline Kirby and her jewel thief/ insurance investigator husband Gregory Longdon become targets after a desperate stranger asks them to deliver a fortune in rare red diamonds to hotelier Alexander Colefax. Before they can ask any questions, the man is killed. Driven by dark secrets, Colefax is willing to flirt with treason if it means getting what he wants. His coterie included the son of a Kremlin elite and a Russian mafia boss. When a man’s only loyalty is to money, his enemies become twice as ruthless. After Colefax is bludgeoned to death, Emmeline and Gregory discover that his dangerous games involved not only diamonds, but a stolen Fabergé egg that has vanished and a spy named Snowdrop. The trail of lies and revenge leads to Switzerland, where a treacherous double-cross could cost Emmeline and Gregory their lives.
Author Daniella Bernett recently sat down with The Big Thrill to discuss her latest mystery, BETRAYED BY THE TRUTH.
A novel is such a major undertaking; there’s the writing of it, of course, then you’re spending months and months revising, polishing, and then promoting it. How did you know this was the book you wanted to spend the next couple of years on?
The book took a year to come to life. Although I wield total control, I placed my trust in Emmeline and Gregory to guide me on the journey. They are constantly murmuring in my ear and giving me suggestions for the present story I’m telling, as well as nuggets for the next one hovering in the shadows.
Can you pinpoint a moment or incident that sparked the idea for this book?
I have a confession. I see murder everywhere. In beauty, there’s danger. Even the most bucolic and genteel of settings are fair game. In this instance, I was on a boat ride along Lake Thun in Switzerland, when the ember kindled in my mind. The lake is 700 feet deep in places, a juicy fact for one whose imagination has lethal impulses. I pictured it in December with a frigid wind gathering indigo clouds in the midnight sky. Emmeline was stumbling across a meadow covered in an opalescent crust of ice that sloped down to the lake. Before she could reach the woods, a killer’s hand clamps down on her shoulder. Oh, my. Curiosity left me no choice but to follow the Muse.
When you first created your protagonist for this book, did you see an empty space in crime lit that you wanted to fill? What can you share about the inspiration for that character?
There are myriad wonderful series featuring a police detective as the protagonist. However, the law imposes constraints on a police officer’s actions. I felt a series where amateur sleuths solve the crimes would yield more possibilities for complications. As a journalist, Emmeline’s job is to ask questions and expose wrongdoing to ensure transparency, as well as to see that justice is served. By contrast, with Gregory as a jewel thief I can delve into issues on the dark side of the law.
In addition to a great read, what do you hope readers will take away from this story?
I wanted to explore the idea that in certain circumstances the truth can be a double-edged sword with serious repercussions for the guilty and the innocent. Also, friends make the worst enemies because they know one’s weaknesses and how to twist the knife to exploit them.
What can you share about what you’re working on next?
I’m working on Don’t Breathe A Word, Book 10 in the series. Lean in close and I’ll whisper a hint. Secrets, lies, kidnapping and revenge plunge Emmeline and Gregory into a simmering cauldron of deadly intrigue. In other words, it’s just another typical day.
Daniella Bernett is a member of the International Thriller Writers, Mystery Writers of America and the Crime Writers Association. She graduated summa cum laude with a B.S. in Journalism from St. John’s University. Lead Me Into Danger, Deadly Legacy, From Beyond The Grave, A Checkered Past, When Blood Runs Cold, Old Sins Never Die, Viper’s Nest of Lies and A Mind To Murder are the books in the Emmeline Kirby-Gregory Longdon mystery series. She also is the author of two poetry collections, Timeless Allure and Silken Reflections. In her professional life, she is the research manager for a nationally prominent engineering, architectural and construction management firm. Daniella is currently working on Emmeline and Gregory’s next adventure. Visit www.daniellabernett.com or follow her on Facebook or on Goodreads.
BETRAYED BY THE TRUTH with Daniella Bernett