We Can See You by Simon Kernick
WE HAVE YOUR DAUGHTER.
WE KNOW YOUR SECRETS.
WE CAN SEE YOU.
The new high-octane thriller from Sunday Times bestselling author Simon Kernick
You have it all. Success, a beautiful home, a happy family.
Until, in a heartbeat, it’s gone.
We’ve kidnapped your daughter, and we know everything about you. Including the dark secrets from your past you thought were forgotten.
We tell you not to contact the police – and that we’ll know if you do. Because we can see you.
And now you know this is no ordinary abduction. It’s worse. Within hours you’re on the run, with only one thought in your head:
That you will stop at nothing to get your daughter back.
Interview with Simon Kernick
Where did the inspiration come from for your new release?
I love writing books about ordinary people who suddenly find their lives turned upside down by a single dramatic even. In this case, Brook Connor, a highly successful life coach comes home one night to find her husband, daughter and nanny, all missing. The only clue is a ransom note purportedly from the kidnappers, telling her that she’s being watched and if she ever wants to see her daughter again, she has to do exactly as she’s told. This is my first book set in the US, and is a complete standalone, which gave me the freedom I needed to create what I hope is a twisting, fast-paced tale set in smalltown California, where no one is who they seem and everyone has secrets, including Brook herself.
How does it feel to know your characters are out and about in reader’s imaginations?
There’s nothing more satisfying than receiving a note from a reader saying how much they like a particular character of mine. What’s interesting from a writer’s point of view is how the best characters almost write themselves. My aim is always to create ones who my readers can actually believe in and identify with. I’m not a big one for writing about invincible super heroes. I prefer even my tough guys and girls to have fears and flaws, just like the rest of us.
Do you miss writing about them?
Absolutely. I have a number of recurring characters who come in and out of my books and I’m always happy to see one again when he or she hasn’t been around for a while.
What was your publishing journey highlight?
I think the biggest highlight has to be the day I received a letter from a literary agent saying she was interested in representing me. Up to that point, I’d been trying to get an agent for five years. I’d written a grand total of three books, and received no less than three hundred rejection letters, not one of which offered me a word of encouragement. As is so often the way, I was pretty much on the verge of giving up altogether when I finally got some good news. That was eighteen years and nineteen books ago, and I’ve been with the same agent ever since.
What was the last book that made you laugh out loud?
‘Delete this at your peril: The Bob Servant emails’. No summary remotely does it justice. You simply have to read it. I laughed out loud on virtually ever page.
What was the last book that made you cry?
Matterhorn by Karl Marlantes, a brilliant novel set in the Vietnam War, written by a man who served there. I’ve never read anything else that perfectly captured the utterly futility of war. It’s bleak, terrifying, but also inspiring, because it shows the true strength of the human spirit when faced with real life and death challenges.
If you were on an island for a year what two books would you bring?
The Lord of the Rings, because it’s the kind of big to me you need when you have time on your hands, and I can re-read it again and again and always find new, interesting little snippets. And the other would be The Times History of the World by Richard Overy. Ever since I was a child I’ve loved history and reading this very enjoyable but well detailed book provides me with real inspiration and insight. As someone once said: You can only understand the present in light of the past.’
Lastly, what is your favourite book quote?
‘There is no greater agony than bearing an untold story inside you’. I tell that one to my friends all the time!
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