A DARK REDEMPTION
I’m terrible at trying to synopsize my own books so this is what the blurb says:
A Dark Redemption introduces DI Jack Carrigan and DS Geneva Miller as they investigate the brutal rape and murder of a young Ugandan student. Plunged into an underworld of illegal immigrant communities, they discover that the murdered girl’s studies at a London college may have threatened to reveal things that some people will go to any lengths to keep secret …
Unflinching, inventive and intelligent, A Dark Redemption explores a sinister case that will force DI Carrigan to face up to his past and DS Miller to confront what path she wants her future to follow.
You can read an excerpt here
This is my first book to be set in London and the first in a series of novels that will feature Carrigan and Miller. The second book, Eleven Days Before Christmas, is almost finished and should be out next year. I want to explore different parts of London in each book, areas not so familiar to me, and the communities and strange milieus that we pass by every day but rarely see.
The backstory to A Dark Redemption deals with Uganda and the Lord’s Resistance Army. Joseph Kony is one of those figures too fantastical for fiction and too heartbreaking for real life. With an army of abducted children, he’s held the north of Uganda hostage for the last twenty odd years. The situation is of course a lot more complicated than that.
But there were two things, in particular, that made me want to set the backstory of my novel here.
Joseph Kony is the kind of figure any novelist would love to get their hands on. On this video, he seems louche and charming and yet he’s one of Africa’s most murderous and cruel militia leaders.
But it was the kids that ultimately got to me. The kids that Kony and his men abducted and turned into child soldiers. They’re often not much older than fourteen, sometimes as young as five. They’re taken from their homes and forced to march north to one of Kony’s training camps. They are then brutalised and hardened into soldiers. They worship Kony as a kind of cult leader who can anoint sacred oil and rub it on their bodies to make them impervious to bullets. Watching documentaries and reading oral accounts of the trauma, pain, suffering and darkness, these children lived through made me angry and ashamed and aching to write about it. As of Feb 2012 Kony is still at large, despite having an ICC warrant out in his name and the instalment of the US Africa Command Centre.
The best place to go if you want to find out more is the Invisible Children project.
This started as three American kids who decided to go to Darfur to make a documentary about the war. They got waylaid in Northern Uganda and discovered an even more fascinating and appalling story.
The documentary film they made is well worth getting. A stark and moving (if slightly simplistic) account of the situation.
Thanks for reading and I will add more to this list once I find my notebooks!