This week I’m joined by Robin Roughley for my series spotlight feature. Robin is the author of the DS. Lasser series of novels and he has kindly written a post for you all to read!
Robin Roughley lives in Wigan in the the North West of England (God’s coal bunker) though he hopes to one day be released for good behaviour.
He is the author of eleven crime/thriller novels featuring DS Lasser. The novels are set between the run down streets of a northern town and the beautiful yet desolate west Pennine moors.
If you love your crime fiction crammed with square jawed heroes driving flash cars and glorious women who shimmer with inner light, then the DS Lasser novels are probably not for you.
However, if you prefer your characters to be flawed, with a sprinkling of dandruff and old acne scars,the plots to be laced with dark humour, then give them a try.
1 The Needle House
2 The Way that it Falls
3 Tethered to the Dead.
5 More Equal than Others
6 Vanished Beneath
8 Bad Self
10 Moment Back
The truth is I never started out to write a series; in fact, I never wanted to write a crime novel.
The Needle House started out as a paranormal thriller that simply wasn’t working. I had a missing teenager at the beginning of the book and tried to avoid having the police involved though I soon realised this was like having a farce were no one dropped their trousers.
Lasser himself had only appeared around page seventy, so I dragged him forward kicking and screaming and it suddenly made sense I had written a crime novel.
Eleven books later and Lasser is still stalking the streets of Wigan with his sour face and dodgy tattoo.
I have no idea why the readers have taken to him but I am thankful that they saw something in the character that they liked. I can only assume they like his blunt approach to life he is like the ‘no frills,’ brand you get at the supermarket, not quite as good as the main brands but you get a taste for it and convince yourself it tastes fine.
Of course no one character makes a book and when you have a series then it allows you to let the character’s evolve slowly over each book. Relationships entwine and hopefully you get to know and like them, enjoy spending time in their company and following them through each case.
If I had to describe the series then I’m afraid I would have to use well-worn clichés, gritty, and realistic along with dark and twisted.
Lasser has no superpower he doesn’t have a brilliant mind, he doesn’t stop as he exits a room to suddenly turn and ask that final question that unlocks the case in one blinding flash of inspiration. But when the brown stuff hits the fan you would want him on your side, he is loyal, honest and a bit of a bastard if you get on the wrong side of him.
His colleagues are his friends and he keeps the barriers up.
As for the rest you have Bannister his boss with problems of his own and in later books Odette who more than holds her own.
I can’t end without talking about Mr Plymouth a killer who will make you shiver and that’s a guarantee. Just make sure you don’t use bad language when he’s around, believe me he doesn’t like it.
Picking another series then I would have to go for the Merrely Watkins series by another Wigan author Phil Rickman, although he managed to climb over the wall years ago and made good his escape.
His dialogue is wonderful the atmosphere he creates is second to now, he started out in the horror genre and his books still have that creeping unease, that, ‘he’s behind you!’ feeling.
Try him if you love to shiver and squirm in your seat, top notch stuff.
Huge thanks to Robin for taking the time to write this guest post. Here’s some links if you want to find out more…
Facebook: Robin Roughley