One by One is my debut crime thriller for Ruby Fiction. Previously I’ve written romantic comedies but across both genres you’ll find a strong female protagonist right at the centre, dealing with whatever life throws at them.
One by One features Professor Maxie Reddick - a lively, intelligent character who teaches Criminology at the local university and has her own crime podcast. She gets very frustrated by all the TV cop shows and detective novels because she knows that, in real life, many crimes are never solved. In an outburst on her podcast, she tells her listeners that because the conviction rates are so low, she could probably do better herself.
Listening to her is a young woman who desperately needs the Professor’s help. Now that her bluff has been called, Maxie has to put her money where her mouth is and begin an investigation.
Throughout the novel, I’m asking the reader to put themselves in Maxie’s position and ask themselves – what would I do? Maxie cannot relax knowing that someone might get away with a horrific crime but as events progress she realises there is a thin line between seeking justice and vengeful vigilantism.
I looked at several career options for Maxie in the course of developing the story, but when I started to research the study of Criminology I found it completely fascinating. Students ask questions like: Who gets to decide what is a criminal act? and What new actions should be a criminal act? The questions seem even more pertinent after a year in which visiting one’s friends and family has suddenly become more or less illegal. I have to confess that I’d love to be debating these questions in a lecture theatre, and in writing the novel I was able to indulge that fantasy.
I have another Professor Reddick novel in development so I hope that this one is well-received and that I keep readers guessing right until the end!
Back of the book says
When practising what you preach is easier said than done …
Professor Maxie Reddick has her reasons for being sceptical of traditional policing methods, but, in between her criminology lecturing job and her Criminal Thoughts podcast, she stays firmly on the side lines of the crime solving world.
Then a young woman is brutally attacked, and suddenly it’s essential that Maxie turns her words into actions; this is no longer an academic exercise – this is somebody’s life.
But as she delves deeper, the case takes a sickening turn, which leads Maxie to the horrifying realisation that the attack might not have been a one-off. It seems there’s a depraved individual out there seeking revenge, and they’ll stop at nothing to get it … little by little … one by one.
About the author
I live in the North East of England with my hubby and our chocolate Labrador Angus. Walking the dog frequently inspires scenes, short stories or plotlines as we’re out in all weathers in the glorious Northumberland countryside.
I guess I began writing with a diary as I’ve kept one for as long as I can remember and I’ve always loved the physical act of writing – putting pen to paper. I love exploring words and discovering new books – everything about the craft. Whenever I talk to other authors, I hear similar experiences – how they loved to write poetry at school but never kept it up, how they used to make up stories for their siblings – I was just the same. However, when I left University I went into marketing and although I really enjoyed it, the urge to write a book never went away. One year, I simply decided it was now or never!
I made a new year’s resolution to write a novel and give it as a Christmas present. My first novel, The Mercury Travel Club was born and the characters took on a life of their own resulting in the sequel -The Heat is On.
In 2020 I signed with Ruby Fiction and a new set of characters took up the main stage in Summer at Serenity Bay.
You can follow Helen on twitter @Helen_Bridgett
Kindle UK: https://amzn.to/38RrbYz
Apple Books: https://apple.co/3oTJtxO