Monday, 25 June 2012

Guest Post: Leading Ladies (Jane Isaac)

Today's guest post is by Jane Isaac, a writer whose debut novel An Unfamiliar Murder is receiving rave reviews from readers. If you love crime thrillers, or want to try the genre then her novel is a must-read! You can find it on Amazon US & UK in both paperback and kindle formats.

Okay, I'm handing you over to Jane!

I’d like to say a big thank you to Zoe for inviting me to post on her wonderful
site.  I’ve been a huge admirer of her blog and her work for some time. She is definitely one to watch out for!

In reality, if I was ever lucky enough to have my book transformed into a TV drama or film (one can dream!), a script would be drawn up and a director would seek and allocate the cast. However, since this is my post, I thought I’d have a bit of fun by searching the market and indulging in choosing my own leading ladies.

My lead in An Unfamiliar Murder is Detective Chief Inspector Helen Lavery. She is managing her first murder investigation, battling to make her mark in the senior echelons of the police, an organisation dominated by strong characters, whilst juggling the demands of single parenting two teenage sons.
Heading the homicide and major crime squad is arguably one of the most demanding, responsible and challenging jobs in the police force; the hours worked are impressive, the pressure immense – a wrong decision, a case handled badly, and she not only risks her own reputation, but the wider force and the police nationally.

Needless to say, Helen is a strong character, but she also possesses a sensitive side, an edge that forces her to push the boundaries and occasionally adopt unorthodox methods to catch a killer. It would take an imposing actress to step into those shoes. She is also quintessentially British. I thought about some of my favourite films, TV serials, trawled the internet in my search. And this is who I came up with:

Helen Baxendale – a solid and compelling actress who boasts an impressive career spanning theatre, TV and film including Cold Feet, Friends, An Unsuitable Job for a Woman and several crime dramas. She has been nominated for Baftas on numerous occasions and her roles in film and TV have won multiple awards.

Whilst we follow the police investigation through Helen’s eyes, the rest of the story is told through the eyes of another principle protagonist: secondary school teacher, Anna Cottrell.  Anna comes home from work to find the dead body of a stranger in her flat, becomes main suspect in a murder enquiry and, just as she believes she has convinced police of her innocence, new evidence comes to light that links her directly to the victim - evidence that changes her life irrevocably.

Anna is a strong, independent woman that has never felt like she fitted in. She has always known that something in her life was awry, but was never able to put her finger on it; until now. The revelations in An Unfamiliar Murder highlight this angst and force her to deal with its consequences. This is who I would cast for Anna:

Kelly MacDonald – a grounded actress who debuted in the hit film Trainspotting, has received endless Bafta nominations and was nominated for a Golden Globe for her role as Margaret Schroeder in Boardwalk Empire.

As writers, we spend endless hours drawing, layering and building our characters so that they become real. It can be very difficult to let them go, especially when you have lived with them for years, a bit like losing an old friend (which is probably why I am writing a sequel!).

Which actors you would select to play the main characters in your stories, and why?

About the Author:
A former student of The London School of Journalism, Jane Isaac lives in rural Northamptonshire, UK with her husband, daughter and dog, Bollo.

Two of Jane's short stories, ‘Duplicity’ and ‘Perilous Truths’, will appear in Crime Anthologies released in 2012 by Rainstorm Press and Bridge House Publishing. An Unfamiliar Murder is her first novel.

You can contact Jane and read an excerpt of the book on her website at  , or follow her on Twitter and Face book . An Unfamiliar Murder is available on Amazon in paperback and Kindle.

Jane Isaac


  1. Hey Zoe!
    Thank you for the kind invitation to guest on your blog. It was fun:)


Leave your thoughts and responses as comments.

Come on, I won't bite! ^_~