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Murder mystery news: A Contrite Heart published

I'm a big fan of murder mysteries, and write them when I'm not working on my popular science titles. The latest (book eight!) in the series of Stephen Capel mysteries is now out, called A Contrite Heart.

In it, the election of a new MP for Bath disturbs the village of Thornton Down where two of the candidates have recently moved in. Vicar Stephen Capel struggles with a moral dilemma when his best friend asks him to place listening devices in the candidates' homes for the security service - and things spiral out of control when a would-be MP is killed.

What begins as a murder investigation involving Capel's newly promoted wife, Detective Sergeant Vicky Denning, becomes a race against time to save a woman's life. 

Writing fiction is a very different experience from writing popular science - I enjoy it just as much and hope that you will find the book interesting too. 

What fascinates me about the fiction process is the way that characters evolve as the book is written. In this case, what started out as a minor character, introduced to fill in while another was out of action, expanded to become a significant player. Not only that, this character's development brought almost fully formed the plot of the next book in the series into my mind: I'm having to fight myself not to start on this already. 

With a non-fiction title, the main contents are mostly plotted out ahead of time, where fiction seems to evolve far more organically. Admittedly, when writing popular science, there can be developments in the science itself that take a book in a new direction. And even when writing about the past, it's not uncommon to uncover new material while the book is being written that can change the shape of the writing. But because it's not possible to think of characters in fiction without endowing them to some extent with personalities that can drive a storyline, there is a different kind of evolutionary process in action.

Take a look on my website for more details on the book and the chance to buy a copy.

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