Trust Me, I’m Dead by Sherryl Clark
She hasn’t seen her brother in years. Now, he’s dead.
When Judi Westerholme finds out her estranged brother has been murdered, she assumes it’s connected to his long term drug addiction. Returning home, she is shocked to discover he had been clean for years, had a wife – now missing – a child and led a respectable life. But if he had turned his life around, why was he killed in a drug deal shooting? And where is his wife?
Desperate to know what really happened, Judi sets out to uncover the truth, even though it means confronting her own traumatic past. But she’s not the only one looking for answers…
With a gutsy, unapologetic protagonist, Trust Me, I’m Dead is a gritty and bold crime thriller that explores the sacrifices people will make for their families.
Where did the inspiration come from for your new release?
Many years ago I read an article where someone who had died had left a recording behind that greatly affected their family and changed a lot of things for them (I still can’t find the article although I did keep it somewhere…). That was the inspiration and the story grew around it.
How does it feel to know your characters are out and about in reader’s imaginations?
Scary! I love my characters, warts and all, and I know they’ve got lots of flaws but I still want readers to love Judi and feel for her. It’s a challenge so I hope I have written her and the other characters well enough.
Do you miss writing about them?
I’m now writing the next novel in the series, so I’m right back into Judi’s life and problems again, and a new murder. It’s been great adding new characters, especially people who are close to her and can show her in a different light, and using her home setting in the country.
What was your publishing journey highlight?
Being shortlisted for the CWA Debut Dagger was definitely a highlight for my crime writing. I’d been working on Trust Me, I’m Dead for ten years, but I think it was the right time to finally enter, when I’d done so much revision work. In my children’s writing, my first verse novel was a highlight as I never thought I could get it published, and then it won an award.
What was the last book that made you laugh out loud?
The Wednesday Wars by Gary Schmidt, when I shared it with my class. Any kid who’s called Holling Hoodhood is bound to have a difficult life, but his outlook is so funny and sad at the same time. It’s set in 1967 so it’s also a great reminder of life back then.
What was the last book that made you cry?
Oh dear, lots of books make me cry – I’m a softie like that (and TV shows and movies are worse!). It was Just Me by Jojo Moyes. I loved how brave she was in spite of being scared and alone.
If you were on an island for a year what two books would you bring?
They’d have to be big ones! Definitely Norton’s Anthology of Poetry – 1600 pages of it would keep me going. And Anna Karenina, which I’ve been meaning to read for years and never had time.
Lastly, what is your favourite book quote?
It’s not so much a quote from a book (although it was originally), but a quote from a writer who I greatly respect, Neil Gaiman. He said, “Fairy tales are more than true: not because they tell us that dragons exist, but because they tell us that dragons can be beaten.”