The Big Thrill Discusses THE PERFECT AFFAIR with Angela Henry
When Paige Nichols meets her husband’s glamorous new colleague at a faculty mixer, she instantly knows they’re having an affair. It’s the way he looks at her, like she’s the only woman in the world. Aaron used to look at her like that, too. And with her beautiful, knowing smile, Cara Morton seems to enjoy flaunting their romance right under her nose.
Paige believes Aaron when he says he’ll break things off. What else can she do when she’s determined to hold her family together? But then Cara makes a shocking accusation about Aaron that threatens to end his career as a college professor and shatter their barely patched up marriage. Paige stands by her husband, but doubts creep in. Is Cara telling the truth? Or is this all part of her dangerous game?
Then Cara Morton disappears without a trace.
Paige knows her husband can keep secrets. She’s keeping dark secrets of her own. But is he a killer? The police seem to think so. But they don’t know Cara. They don’t know about her past. They don’t know what she’s capable of…Angela Henry stopped by The Big Thrill to chat about her latest domestic thriller, THE PERFECT AFFAIR.
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?
I’ve had so many plot ideas over the years and only a handful have become actual books. But I kept revisiting the idea for THE PERFECT AFFAIR off and on over the course of about six years. I’d work on it for a bit and then set it aside. But the characters were always in the back of my mind prodding me to finish their story. Then I retired after 30 years working in the library field in early 2022 and had time on my hands to finally get serious about finishing it.
Were there any particular books, movies, or songs that were knocking around in your head while you were writing this one?
Lots of them! I had a whole soundtrack and movie list in my head when I was writing this book.
SONGS: Maneater by Hall & Oates, Secret Lovers by Atlantic Starr, Don’t You Want Me by The Human League
MOVIES: Fatal Attraction, Basic Instinct, Presumed Innocent, Unfaithful, and Obsessed. Just name a few.
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?
Yes, I did. The character of Aaron Nichols is a black English professor at a small liberal arts college in the Midwest and that’s not a character we usually see in domestic thrillers. I was inspired to create this character, in part, by having worked in higher education and seeing very little diversity at the teaching level.
In addition to a great read, what do you hope readers will take away from this story?
One of the things I love the most about this book and writing in general is exploring the backstory of a crime and what led the characters to make the choices they made. I love dissecting human nature and showing both the good and bad traits of the characters I write about. And I hope readers will finds thing to identify and maybe even empathize with in this book.
What can you share about what you’re working on next?
My next book is another domestic thriller also set on a college campus and explores issues of family and how far people are willing to go, and what they’re willing to do, when they think they’ve lost everything.
Angela Henry is the award-winning author of six mysteries featuring nosy amateur sleuth Kendra Clayton, the Xavier Knight urban fantasy detective series, and thrillers The Paris Secret, and THE PERFECT AFFAIR. Angela has been published by BET Books, Harlequin’s Carina Press, and Kensington Publishing and is currently published by Storm Publishing as well as her own imprint Boulevard West Press. When she’s not writing she loves to travel, is a connoisseur of B horror movies, and is a functioning anime addict. She lives in Ohio with her husband and their spoiled Chiweenie and is currently procrastinating on her next deadline.
To learn more about the author, please visit her website.
THE PERFECT AFFAIR with Angela Henry