'A cracking read. Fast-paced with fascinating characters, and written with all the authority of a seasoned diplomat." - Helen Lindell, former British High Commissioner to Australia
Former British Diplomat Jean Harrod's debut crime fiction novel, Deadly Diplomacy, follows the story of Diplomat Jess Turner, the British Consul in Canberra. When a British businesswoman is brutally murdered in a Queensland resort, Jess travels to Brisbane to liaise with the police, and help the victims next of kin, her journalist sister, Susan. Queensland DI Tom Sangster is assigned the case, but the Federal Government is very interested in it too. The murder victim was negotiating a multi-billion dollar deal to supply LNG to China, and soon rumours of corruption swirl around the intelligence community. Was she taking Chinese bribes?
Jess is taken aback by Susan's deep suspicion of the police. When Susan snatches her sisters diary and disappears - and two more high profile murders follow in quick succession - the race is on to find Susan and the diary before the killer does. Jess and Sangster, each with their own pieces of the puzzle, must work together to solve this case. Deadly Diplomacy is the thrilling, debut crime novel from former British Diplomat Jean Harrod.
Born and educated in the UK, Jean Harrod was employed as a British diplomat for many years, working in Embassies and High Commissions in Australia, Brussels, the Caribbean, China, East Berlin, Indonesia, Mauritius, and Switzerland. She has travelled extensively around the world and writes about all the countries she has lived in, or visited. -Deadly Diplomacy' is her debut diplomatic crime novel, and the first of a series featuring diplomat Jess Turner and DI Tom Sangster. Jean now lives in North Yorkshire. For more information and for review copies please contact me. Jean's official website is www.jeanharrod.com
Author: Jean Harrod
Question: What inspired the story of Deadly Diplomacy?
Jean Harrod: When I was British Consul, Jakarta (1990s), I was responsible for the protection of British citizens across Indonesia. There were murders, kidnappings, drownings, accidents, and terrorist abductions. I spent time with the Police, in the morgue, with forensics, and with the families of victims. I decided then I would, one day, write a series of -diplomatic crime' novels. Deadly Diplomacy is the first.
Question: Are the characters based on anyone you know?
Jean Harrod: No-one in particular, but I am one of life's observers. I have also managed large teams of staff in missions overseas and met thousands of people of all nationalities. I think my characters are a mix of people I have met along the way in real life.
Question: How much of your inspiration comes from real life and real people?
Jean Harrod: A good deal. I travelled the world extensively for many years. I know a lot about other countries, other cultures and people, as well as international diplomacy and events. I have all sorts of plots and characters rattling around in my head, I just wish I could writer faster.
Question: What is the best thing about creating a character like Jess?
Jean Harrod: Jess is a product of my imagination, but she can take on a life of her own as a novel unfolds. People often ask if I am Jess. The answer is -no', I have not had her experiences. The plot and characters in Deadly Diplomacy are fictional, although the way the story unfolds from a diplomatic and procedural perspective is close to the truth. The fun part is that I don't always quite know what Jess is going to do as she deals with every situation that comes her way. She surprises me too sometimes.
Interview by Brooke Hunter