When a child disappears, the clock starts ticking Detective Elisenda Domènech has had a tough few years. The loss of her daughter and a team member; the constant battles against colleagues and judges; the harrowing murder investigations… But it’s about to get much worse. When the son of a controversial local politician goes missing at election time, Elisenda is put on the case. They simply must solve it. Only the team also have to deal with a spate of horrifically violent break-ins. People are being brutalised in their own homes and the public demands answers. Could there be a connection? Why is nobody giving a straight answer? And where is Elisenda’s key informant, apparently vanished off the face of the earth? With the body count threatening to increase and her place in the force on the line, the waters are rising… Be careful not to drown. The stunning new instalment of the gripping Elisenda Domènech crime thrillers for readers of Ian Rankin, Henning Mankell and Andrea Camilleri.
Information about the Book
Title: City of Drowned Sould (Elisenda Domènech Investigations #3)
Author: Chris Lloyd
Release Date: 6th February 2017
Genre: Crime Thriller
Format: ebook Goodreads Link: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/34106761-city-of-drowned-souls Amazon Link: https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B01N7Y2NDN
About the Author:
Chris was born in an ambulance racing through a town he’s only returned to once and that’s probably what did it. Soon after that, when he was about two months old, he moved with his family to West Africa, which pretty much sealed his expectation that life was one big exotic setting. He later studied Spanish and French at university, and straight after graduating, he hopped on a bus from Cardiff to Catalonia where he stayed for the next twenty-four years, falling in love with the people, the country, the language and Barcelona Football Club, probably in that order. Besides Catalonia, he’s also lived in Grenoble, the Basque Country and Madrid, teaching English, travel writing for Rough Guides and translating. He now lives in South Wales, where he works as a writer and a Catalan and Spanish translator, returning to Catalonia as often as he can.
He writes the Elisenda Domènech series, featuring a police officer with the newly-devolved Catalan police force in the beautiful city of Girona. The third book in the series, City of Drowned Souls, is published on 6 February 2017.
Website: http://www.cityofgooddeath.com/ Twitter: https://twitter.com/chrislloydbcn
5 Top ten fictional inspirations
1. As I imagine is the case with most writers, my love of reading – and, by extension, writing – began as a kid. I was lucky enough to grow up in a town that had a wonderful public library – you know what I’m going to say now… we have to fight hard to save them (OK, I’ve done banging the drum for the moment). I used to love spending hours after school choosing books – it was a magical, unstoppable realm. The children’s section when I was growing up had a rule where you had to take out one non-fiction book for every fiction book, which I’m certain laid a basis for a lifelong passion for discovering new things and wandering off down paths of learning. It was absolutely wonderful, transporting me not only to imaginary worlds but to real worlds and real stories, engendering in me not just a love for great fiction, but a fascination for discovery. We need to do everything we can to save our libraries. Did I mention that?
2. If you don’t mind me banging on a bit more about childhood, next in my list of inspirations is children’s authors. They’re wholly to blame, they’re the ones that gave me a love of reading from an early age and who made me want to write. My first love as a child were the Just William books by Richmal Crompton – I loved his well-meaning misunderstandings and the scrapes they got him into. That’s when I began writing my own stories, the Just Chris series – now sadly lost to the world – whose adventures were remarkably similar to William’s. Other books I enjoyed were The Three Investigators series by Robert Arthur about three young teenagers in Hollywood who solved crimes, the Willard Price Adventure series and Emil and the Detectives by Erich Kästner. I think I’m beginning to see a pattern emerge here…
3. And then I read The Silver Sword by Ian Serraillier, a present from my mum, and I saw just what a book could do. The story of children doing what they can to survive in Warsaw in World War Two, it’s a story of despair and hope, friendship and love, searching and survival, and I still remember it as one of the most powerful novels I’ve ever read. It was like the culmination of the fiction and non-fiction books I’d been enjoying for years, and it left a deep and lasting impression on me. That was probably when I knew I wanted to be a writer.
4. There are a couple of Welsh poets I love who I have to mention. One of the powers of poetry for me is the extraordinary ability the best poets have of conveying a whole world in a single line. They open the door and you as the reader walk out into the world. Dylan Thomas should be required reading for his incredible love of the sound of words, the bizarre juxtaposition of them that conjures up the most vivid images and show us it’s all right to play around with language. The other poet is very different. RS Thomas wrote rather sombre poems that trouble the conscience, but it was his way of contrasting the world of the individual with the perception of others that I find fascinating – it has its resonances with what I try to do as a crime writer.
5. I love old Hollywood films, but they have to be in black and white or they don’t count. Every now and then, I love a weekend kicking back, the lights off in the living room, sharing a bottle or two of red wine with my wife and succumbing to 48 hours of movie greats. Ever since I was a teenager, I’ve loved the Marx Brothers for their completely off-the-wall stories and appalling puns – again it’s that playing around with language that I love. Billy Wilder’s films are object lessons in how to craft dialogue – The Front Page is so sublime, I’ll even forgive it for being in colour. So too is pretty much anything by George Cukor – for quick-witted exchanges between characters, The Philadelphia Story is jaw-dropping. And
Humphrey Bogart as Philip Marlowe has to be the blueprint for every fictional detective, wisecracking or not.
6. If you want to write, you read. And if you want to write crime, you read crime. I knew for years that I wanted to write, but I sometimes struggled to know what exactly. I worked as a travel writer for some time and I wrote comedy sketches for radio, but I hadn’t found the genre that suited me. (Which my wife reckons is where I’m a bit thick as it was obvious to her that I should write crime fiction because that made up about two-thirds of what I read!) It was discovering Rebus by Ian Rankin that made me realise that that was the way I wanted to go – his use of crime novels to tell any story he wanted is the best argument for the genre. And then along came the Scandinavian writers and I was completely sold – I wanted to do for my little corner of the Mediterranean what they were doing for their cultures, and that’s when I started writing in earnest.
7. Which brings me to Catalonia. I lived in Spain for twenty-four years, twenty of them in Catalonia, and I work as a Catalan translator and still have close links with Girona and Barcelona. It’s a part of me. I’ve always been treated well there and I wanted to return the favour by talking about my love for the country. In Girona, I discovered a series of legends relating to more or less every part of the city, and I learned that storytelling was so important that there are even modern-day legends that have already become part of the city’s folklore. They were perfect for a crime novel I wanted to write set in Girona, and they became the basis for the first book in the Elisenda series. But they go deeper than that, as I believe that setting creates character (not just in fiction), and that original idea of the legends underscores a lot of the subsequent books and the people in them.
8. This may be stretching the notion of fictional inspirations, but there are certain painters who have inspired me a lot. Quite apart from their skill, I’m in awe of their ability to use a static visual medium to create a narrative that can be as vibrant and as powerful as any film or novel. For their paintings overflowing with story, I love the works of Hieronymus Bosch and Breughel – every character in their compositions could be the protagonist of a novel. In terms of Catalonia, there are two painters I draw inspiration from, one famous the world over, the other not so well known outside Spain. Santiago Rusiñol was a Modernist who created beautiful and haunting landscapes, some of early twentieth-century Girona, alongside incredibly acute studies of people. The other is Salvador Dalí, who was from the Girona region, whose surreal paintings have always inspired me to see things differently, to turn what I think I know on its head. He’ll turn up in an Elisenda story one day…
9. Talking of Elisenda, she’s a rock music fan. She gets it from me. One of my favourite bands is from Girona – Sopa de Cabra, who took their name (Goat Soup) from the title of the Rolling Stones album, so that gives you some idea of their style. Some of their early songs talk of the street people and the characters who are out of step with the rest of the city, and they inspired part of Elisenda’s world view – she identifies with the victims of life, the ones who can’t always cope with the world. To a large extent, her love of rock music from her roots is what defines her.
10. If I had to say one book that I wish I’d written, it would be Perfume by Patrick Süskind. The use of smells, from the most exquisite scent to the pungent stench of an eighteenth-century city, is a masterclass in using the senses to convey atmosphere and emotion. It’s the aromas that convey the picture of the city, the terror of the victims, the killer. A constant reminder not to forget to bring out all the senses when writing. And to end on a curious note,
a lot of the film based on the book, especially the scenes set in Grasse, was filmed in Girona.
Lastly, thank you Sam for hosting me on The Book Corner today.
Don't forget to check out the other stops on this tour!