“For every crime, there’s a victim. Sometimes many victims. How those victims are portrayed is a weakness of crime fiction. Too often they are simply cadavers, pieces of meat on which the story feeds. They are rarely human. They seldom have lives that precede the moments of their deaths. They exist only to be crouched over by detectives or dissected by coroners.
“When I first started writing the character Galya Petrova I was determined she would not be a victim. She would not be a body on a slab. She would not wait passively, in fear, for a man to come and save her. If she was to survive STOLEN SOULS, it would be by her own efforts. The Damsel in Distress is a thriller trope that’s far too easy to fall back on, and I’m guilty of doing so myself in previous books. Galya is indeed a damsel, and in distress, but that trope does not stand without a white knight charging to the rescue.
“Jack Lennon is no white knight. Galya’s on her own with only her will to survive. Every aspect of her background and personality feeds into her fight for life. I wanted to create a character who might have fallen prey to some despicable people, but who’d never be a victim. I hope I’ve achieved that with Galya Petrova.” - Stuart Neville
“Burke shows again that he’s not just a comic genius, but also a fine dramatic writer and storyteller.” – Booklist. “Prose both scabrous and poetic.” – Publishers Weekly. “Proust meets Chandler over a pint of Guinness.” – Spectator. “Among the most memorable books of the year, of any genre.” – Sunday Times. “A hardboiled delight.” – Guardian. “Imagine Donald Westlake and Richard Stark collaborating on a screwball noir.” – Kirkus Reviews. “A cross between Raymond Chandler and Flann O’Brien.” – John Banville.
Thursday, January 19, 2012
Origins: Stuart Neville
‘Origins’ is a (very) occasional series in which an author talks about the inspiration - character, plot, setting, whatever - for their latest novel, in this case Stuart Neville on Galya Petrova, the heroine of STOLEN SOULS. To wit: