With bonus Q&A below
Not much is pretty about the Gingerbread Houses, an image that normally conjures beauty and charm.
These Gingerbread Houses are vile places where degenerate behaviours are forced upon the young.
PI Charlie ‘Bars’ Constantinople is hired to find a pedophile using the name Teddy Bear. A man who has left the bodies of children in his wake.
At first it’s just a job, but as Charlie Bars digs deep, it channels into a mission. Teddy Bear has been operating for many years with impunity. How?
There are others though who have agendas. Dangerous people, high-level people.
Those who have the money and means to take care of any situation. And Charlie Bars’ search for Teddy Bear has become a situation.
Enjoyed the hell out of this grim, tense thriller, and if you are here regularly you likely will too.
~ June Lorraine
Special note: There are no explicit scenes about children in this book.
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Jones does the Murder in Common Q&A
In The Gingerbread Houses, several times the word sat is used, where generally the word sit or sitting would be used. Is this a South London colloquialism, or a character mechanism?
Yes, I’d agree it’s a colloquialism. Quite a few bleed into the narrative. It can also be used so it doesn’t mean “sitting” at all but simply that people are somewhere – “there’s four blokes sat up by the offie”. I suppose in some ways it works as a character mechanism as it gets us into Charlie’s head and used to his little ways.
I’m new to the Charlie Bars series, what does he want from life?
In many ways he’d like to be left alone; to paint, to love, to live. However, even when he tries to walk away from things he finds it hard due to an inherent sense of right and wrong (divorced in many ways from the sense of legal/illegal) and also because he is trying to wash away the sins of the past by doing “the right thing”.
London where you live, is the landscape of this book. Intrinsic or extrinsic?
That was something I sought to prove myself in the second novel, “The Devil’s Brew”, by transporting Charlie out of London to the wilds of Northumberland. In the early stories and the first novel I would have said London was highly intrinsic to the stories but “The Devil’s Brew” showed me that Charlie can work well away from the city. London has always been a hugely part of the world of Charlie Bars but it would be great fun to take him out of it again and that is something I may well do again in the future.
How long do characters live in your head before your get them into a manuscript?
Some fester and stew for years. Others seem to only emerge once the writing begins and then they flit from the shadows between the letters and reveal themselves.
It’s a foggy Thursday at 2PM and you’re sitting at your local. What author would you like to tip a glass or share a mug with?
Great question – and who doesn’t like a foggy afternoon! So many great writers to choose from as well. Should I share a couple of pints with Shakespeare? A vino or two with James Clavell? I think, for today anyway, I would choose to have a few jars with Graham Greene. I’d ask him why he switched to “serious” writing and away from his thrillers, of which “A Gun For Sale” is a huge favourite of mine, but mainly it would just be nice to shoot the breeze with a writer whom I admire.