The crime fiction alphabet has rolled round to "Q", and as I am working through authors' surnames, I have to confess I am stuck. The only author whose name begins with Q and whom I can recall reading is Sheila Quigley. I have read one of her books, Run for Home, in the days when I was in a book club and this debut was the recommendation one month. I can't remember all that much about it, except that it is a bit like a Martina Cole/Lynda La Plante cross, set in the north of England, written in dialect, and involving abducted children, not my favourite topic. Here's the blurb from the author's website:
In 1985: a man runs for his life – exhausted, wounded, hunted remorselessly by a woman assassin known only as The Head Hunter. At the end, he has just enough energy to spit in her face.
In 2001:sixteen-year-old Kerry Lumsdon runs across the same terrain. She runs to win and she runs to forget.
When a headless body is found in the wastelands of the Seahills Estate, Detective Inspector Lorraine Hunt is called in to investigate. Kerry and Lorraine, different ages and from different worlds, come together when Claire Lumsdon, Kerry's sister, is violently kidnapped – the fourth in a series of abductions of young girls.
Headstrong, wilful and convinced the police can't help, Kerry sets out on a frantic search of her own. But her hunt takes her to a world she never knew existed: a violent underworld; a sixteen year old murder; and, finally, to secrets about her own past which her mother hoped she'd never have to face.
And all the time, the clock is ticking for Claire.
Sheila Quigley has written four novels since then, Bad Moon Rising (review by Sharon Wheeler at Reviewing the Evidence); Living on a Prayer (review at Euro Crime by Pat Austen); Every Breath You Take (review at Euro Crime by Michelle Peckham); and most recently, The Road To Hell (book description at the author's website, including a link to a trailer on YouTube). All five novels are set in the Seahills Estate, a fictitious estate in Houghton-le-Spring, north-east England and feature DI Lorraine Hunt. There's a map of the estate at the author's website.
Sheila Quigley was a grandmother of eight, living in a council house in the north east of England, when she signed a £300,000 two-book deal with Random House. Now published by Tonto Books, I will leave the last word with author Tess Gerritsen: "Sheila Quigley is queen of the rough and tumble thriller. With her strong heroines and gritty plots, she draws us into a shadowy world where only the strong survive..".