Today I’m pleased to welcome Ann Randall to the blog. Ann’s latest novel Torn, was published by Constable on 4 April 2017. Torn is the third novel in the Wheeler and Ross series after Riven and Silenced. (The first, Riven, was written as A.J. McCreanor.)
Here Ann talks about the themes discussed in Torn.
In all my novels, there are questions I want to answer, there are themes I want to explore. It could be poverty and child neglect (Riven), or manipulation and revenge (Silenced), and when I began plotting Torn, I knew that I wanted to explore the themes of obsession and conflict and the impact they could have on lives. I wanted to juxtapose the thrill of fame and stardom with the struggle of obsession. Why would Skye Cooper, handsome and charismatic lead singer with Kill Kestrels, Scotland’s latest indie-rock sensation, set his dreams of stardom on a collision course because of an obsession?
As a psychotherapist, I am aware of different challenges and situations and I believe that we all have a ‘dark side’. I am a firm believer in getting to ‘the core’ of the character, making them authentic, otherwise I am resorting to creating a ‘type’, merely a sketch of a character. As F. Scott Fitzgerald wrote, ‘Begin with an individual, and before you know it you have created a type; begin with a type, and you find you have created – nothing.’ I wanted the characters in Torn to be fully expressed, not caricatures and I was delighted when the novel was described as ‘A brilliant and complex read’, like ‘an opaque jigsaw that is masterfully pieced together.’ (Amazon review)
I also wanted to explore the themes of wealth, influence and accountability. When DIs Wheeler and Ross investigate a murder, they are led to a sinister private club where some of the Glasgow’s elite pay substantially to indulge their dark sexual fantasies. As Wheeler and Ross uncover the secrets and lies surrounding the club, they realise that their investigation is being blocked by some of Glasgow’s most influential citizens.
Is there anything of myself in the Torn? There is bereavement in Torn. Prior to writing the novel, myself and my partner lost parents and this sense of loss made its way into the novel. That said, it is not autobiographical, rather it is an exciting read in which the characters develop and themes are explored.
About the book:
The court case had been harrowing. The fifteen jurors sat in silence while the prosecution produced evidence of how a man with obsessive sado-masochistic fantasies had turned into a killer. Fourteen of the jurors were repulsed. One man was secretly enthralled. A new world of possibility had opened up for him.
When an actress is found dead, the ligature marks suggest that she had been involved in extreme sex games. When DIs Wheeler and Ross begin to investigate her death, they uncover not only an industry with varying degrees of regulation but also a sinister private club where some of Glasgow’s elite pay handsomely to indulge their darkest fantasies. Club security is run by Paul Furlan, ex-army veteran and a former adversary of Wheeler. As Wheeler and Ross uncover the secrets and lies surrounding the club, they realise that their investigation is being blocked not just by Furlan but by some of Glasgow’s most influential citizens.
Meanwhile Skye Cooper, Scotland’s latest indie-rock sensation is playing the final gig of his sell-out tour but his dreams of stardom are on a collision course with the obsession threatening to consume him . . .”