Coming Home

No, this isn’t one of my fiction stories. It’s real. It’s not about crime fiction, either, so do feel free to move on to your next blog visit if you wish.

The ‘we will be landing soon’ announcement crackled over the plane’s PA system. The baby stirred a little as I picked her up from where she’d been sleeping next to me. I had no idea how she’d do in this new country of hers. They’d told me that she might find it hard to get used to the water here. And I knew I wouldn’t be able to get the same kind of formula she’d been used to drinking. I had no idea what that might do to her digestion.

Getting used to the climate would be a challenge for her, too. It was February – short-sleeve weather where she was born, but sometimes bitterly cold where we were going. And all she had was one small suitcase. In it was the only toy of her own that she’d brought with her – a small stuffed bear. At least she was healthy – they’d told me that, too, and she certainly seemed to be. And I was determined to give her the best life I could in her new world.

When the plane finally taxied to the gate, I stood up, still holding the baby, and stretched. My clothes and nerves were rumpled from the long flight, and now I was going to have to face getting myself, a baby, and two suitcases from this plane to the plane that would take us to our final destination.

There was one major hurdle: Customs and Immigration. The thing was, the baby wasn’t a US citizen. I am, but I had no idea what I was going to do about getting us both through Passport Control. There were only two options: the ‘US Citizens’ lane, and the ‘Non-US Citizens’ lane. I worried that, if I chose the wrong one, they’d take her away. I couldn’t imagine being separated from my child. I took a deep breath, settled the baby into her child carrier, tightened my grip on the suitcases, and moved towards the ‘US Citizens’ lane.

When it was my turn, I showed the Passport Control officer my own passport, which he stamped perfunctorily. Then, I asked him about the baby, who had a different passport. His expression changed slightly, and he looked at her, then more closely at me.  ‘You’ll have to go to the Immigration waiting room,’ he said.

After we’d gotten through Passport Control, I started looking for the Immigration waiting room. I didn’t know where it was, as there weren’t any signs pointing to it. Within about five minutes, I was completely disoriented. I was also exhausted, hungry, and concerned about the baby, who was just as hungry and tired of it all as I was.

Finally, I saw a door marked ‘Exit.’ That door, I knew, would lead me out of the airport, and I couldn’t do that. They’d told me I would need to apply for an entry visa – what used to be called a ‘Green Card’ – for my daughter, and that I’d have to get a stamp at our port of entry.

Completely befuddled, and getting more and more concerned, I finally flagged down an airline representative. He took one look at us, disheveled, weary, and confused, and very kindly helped us find the room we needed.

Then came the next step: the visa. The Immigration waiting room was large and utilitarian, filled with long rows of government-building plastic seats – the kind you see at Department of Motor Vehicles offices, and places like that. I had no idea what I was supposed to do once I got to the room. There were no signs, and no-one right there to answer questions. There wasn’t very much pleasantness, either. The other people who were waiting were talking quietly among themselves in dozens of different languages. They had their own issues and weren’t paying any attention to me. The officials behind the long front counter were busily staring at their computers.

I wasn’t sure what my next step should be, but I knew one thing: I was going to get my daughter and me through this mess and onto our next flight. So, I went up to the front counter. There were no ‘take a number’ signs, so I approached one of the officials.

He looked up at me with one of those impassive, ‘government employee’ expressions. I was not encouraged. Everything changed, though, when I explained my situation in American English. With a ‘Can I help you?’ smile, he asked me for the baby’s passport, my passport, and the adoption paperwork. My stomach churned for a moment as I fumbled for everything. What if I’d forgotten something? What if they wouldn’t let me keep her? I let out a slow breath when I found the stash of papers.

The Immigration official looked at everything, then at us. Then he stamped the baby’s passport and explained to me that we would receive an official ‘Green Card’ in a few weeks. In the meantime, he said, the passport stamp would serve as her visa. ‘Don’t lose it,’ he warned me. If I did, he said, we would have no proof that she was legally in the country.

Fortunately, my story ended well. My baby and I got onto our connecting flight with no problem, landed at our destination, and got on with our lives. The adoption paperwork was completed both in the US and in my daughter’s country of birth, and she is now a US citizen – has been almost all of her life. We went through that process, too. But throughout it all, I worried that things would go horribly wrong. Mostly, I worried that I might lose my child. And I had a lot of advantages (I speak the dominant language, I’m a US citizen, and, while no-one would confuse me with a rich person, my husband and I had the means for a safe trip). I cannot imagine how frightening entering this country must be for someone with a small child or children, but who doesn’t have those advantages.

People who are fleeing, sometimes for their own lives, have enough troubles, especially if they are bringing children with them. When they get to their destination, a humane society will provide them with a safe place to stay, help from someone who speaks their language, and a humane, dignified system for settling their official status, so that they can start over. A humane society will not separate them from their children. A humane society will not punish children while their parents work through the system. A humane society will not make the immigration system so complicated, expensive and difficult that it can’t be negotiated unless one has money and a good lawyer.

As I look at what’s going on in the news, I cannot help but think how inhumane and unnecessary it is to tear families apart. There are other ways to settle official status without forcibly taking children from their parents. Research and common humanity show us that children who are taken from their families are more apt to suffer from all sorts of consequences. So are their parents. To me, this forced removal of children is cruel and unethical, and it’s wrong on many levels. Many of the people affected by this policy have no voice. But I do. And I choose to use it.

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In The Spotlight: Claire McGowan’s The Lost

Hello, All,

Welcome to another edition of In The Spotlight. Sometimes it’s very hard to go back to the old home town, especially after being away for several years, and especially if one left as a young person and returns as an adult. Homecomings like that can be fraught with all sorts of tension and challenges, even if one has fond memories. Let’s take a look at how that plays out today, and turn the spotlight on Claire McGowan’s The Lost, the first of her Paula Maguire novels.

Maguire is a London forensic psychologist who works with the police on missing person cases, mostly. Her work is noticed, and she gets a request to go back to her home town of Ballyterrin, in Northern Ireland, to help set up a cold case review team. Funding for the team has finally gone through after two girls, Magella Ward and Cathy Carr, have gone missing from the area. Maguire is reluctant to go back; she had her own reasons for leaving in the first place. But her father, who still lives in Ballyterrin, recently broke his leg, and this would give her the opportunity to look after him. Besides, there are the missing girls, and that’s a special interest of hers. So, she finally agrees to go.

She soon joins the team, which will be led by Inspector Guy Brooking of the Met, and everyone starts in to work. Tragically, Cathy Carr is soon found dead. Now, the team has the job of tracing the girl’s last weeks and months to find out whether she left of her own will or was abducted. Meanwhile, they’re also looking to find out what happened to Majella Ward.

There soon turn out to be several possibilities. For one thing, neither girl’s family is particularly helpful. Cathy Carr’s family don’t see what else they can tell the police that they haven’t already. And Majella’s Ward’s family are travellers. They know very well what most people think of their group, and they are most definitely not inclined to trust the police. And, often enough, a family member is involved when a young person disappears. For another thing, both girls had been visiting a place called the Mission. The Mission is a religious group that claims to be trying to keep girls away from early sex, drugs, and drinking, and on the ‘straight and narrow.’ Could the Mission have had something to do with what happened to these girls? When word comes that another girl associated with the Mission, Louise McCourt, committed suicide not many months earlier, it seems more and more likely that that might be the case.

Slowly, Maguire, Brooking, and the team start to put the pieces together. It takes time, and several proverbial wrong turns, but, in the end, they find out what happened to the three girls. They also find that it ties in with two other missing girls who disappeared in the 1980s, and with the town’s past.

The novel takes place in Maguire’s home town. It’s the sort of town where people know one another and have for a number of years. And the Maguire family has been a part of that fabric. So, when Maguire returns to Ballyterrin, everyone knows very quickly that ‘wee Paula Maguire’ has come home. In the course of the novel, she reunites with plenty of people who knew her when she lived there, and that’s got its awkward moments. For instance, Maguire’s old flame Aidan O’Hara is now the editor of the local newspaper. Another old friend, Saoirse McLoughlin, is now a doctor. There are other people, too, who remember her. And that’s not always for the good. Maguire left Ballyterrin abruptly, and for reasons that she’s never really discussed, not even with her closest friends. So, there are some hurt feelings. But there’s also the sense that Maguire belongs there.

The sociocultural setting for the novel is contemporary Northern Ireland. Although the official hostilities of the Troubles have ended, they’ve left their mark. People still know who’s Catholic and who’s not. And people have to live in the same town with others who were on the opposite side in the war, and who might even have killed a friend or family member. Readers who don’t want to read a novel about the Troubles will be pleased to know that this novel doesn’t focus on that particular conflict. But those times have deeply affected the area, and the characters.

This part of Northern Ireland is very traditional in a lot of ways. Abortion is strictly illegal, an unplanned pregnancy is a cause for real shame, especially in teenagers, and homosexuality isn’t exactly condoned. That culture plays a role in the way several characters in the story behave.

The novel is told mostly from Maguire’s point of view, so we learn about her. She and her family are Catholic, although her father was in the Royal Ulster Constabulary (RUC). She’s not really observant, but she went to the local Catholic schools, and so on. She has her own sorrows and ‘ghosts,’ but she doesn’t drown them in drinking, so to speak. She’s far from perfect – she makes mistakes both personal and professional – but she has solid instincts, and she is good at her job.

The solution to the mystery is a very sad one (and, no, in case you’re wondering, the person responsible is not a crazed serial killer). Finding out the truth doesn’t make anyone happier, really. But it does bring closure, for what that’s worth. And the solution gives insight into the way history can impact the present.

The Lost is  the story of a small Northern Ireland community, and how it deals with (and has dealt with) tragedy. It takes place against a distinctive cultural, historical, and social background, and features a sleuth who is a part of that background. But what’s your view? Have you read The Lost? If you have, what elements do you see in it?

 
 
 

Coming Up On In The Spotlight
 

Monday, 18 June/Tuesday, 19 June – Plugged – Eoin Colfer

Monday, 25 June/Tuesday, 26 June – A Cut-Like Wound – Anita Nair

Monday, 2 July/Tuesday, 3 July – Involuntary Witness – Gianrico Carofiglio

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Filed under Claire McGowan, The Lost

Say That We’ll be Nemeses*

A recent post from Sue at Novel Heights has got me thinking about fictional nemeses. I’m not talking here of one antagonist in one novel. Rather, I mean a recurring character who serves as a ‘bad guy,’ or at least an antagonist, in more than one novel.

It’s not easy to create such a character. By and large, crime fiction fans want their characters to be believable. So, if a character is going to, say, be arrested in one novel and imprisoned, there’d have to be a credible reason that character would show up in another.

Sue’s post (which you really do want to read) mentions Dean Reeve, whom we first meet in Nicci French’s Blue Monday. That series’ protagonist is London psychologist Frieda Klein, who encounters Reeve in the course of linking a decades-old disappearance with a contemporary one. I don’t want to say much more for fear of spoilers. Reeve’s role in the series doesn’t end with that novel, though. He returns later in the series and upends Klein’s life. And his role in the novels is a clear example of the way nemeses can add to a series.

But Reeve is hardly the only example of a fiction nemesis. Fans of Arthur Conan Doyle will know that his Sherlock Holmes goes up against Professor Moriarty more than once in the course of his career. In fact, he has what Conan Doyle originally thought of as a final showdown in The Adventure of the Final Problem. In that story, Holmes and Watson have to leave London, and end up in Switzerland. There, Holmes has a confrontation with Moriarty at the Reichenbach Falls. Fans of the Holmes stories didn’t want them to end, though, and Conan Doyle was persuaded to bring Holmes back in further stories.

In Reginald Hill’s An Advancement of Learning, Superintendent Andy Dalziel and Sergeant Peter Pascoe are sent to the campus of Holm Coultram College. A body has been discovered in the course of some campus renovations, and Dalziel and Pascoe investigate the death. One of the people they encounter is brilliant and enigmatic student activist leader Franny Roote. He’s a thorn in both detectives’ sides during this novel, and his role doesn’t end there. Roote makes appearances in A Cure For All Diseases, Death’s Jest-Book, and Dialogues of the Dead. And in each one, he proves to be a more-than-worthy adversary, especially to Pascoe. Roote’s an interesting character in his own right, and his presence in the novels arguably adds leaven to the series.

We might say the same thing about Ian Rankin’s Morris Gerald ‘Big Ger’ Caffery. As fans of Rankin’s Inspector John Rebus series know, Cafferty is an Edinburgh crime boss, who makes his first appearance in Tooth and Nail. He goes on to appear in several other Rebus novels, and the two have an interesting relationship. On the one hand, they are antagonists. Cafferty is a criminal and Rebus is a copper. Rebus will do whatever it takes to put Cafferty behind bars, keep him there, and stop his operations. And, of course, Cafferty has no intention of letting that happen. On the other hand, the two develop a grudging respect for each other over time. And there are cases in which they end up helping each other. As time goes on, we also see how the face of Edinburgh crime and law enforcement change. Those changes impact both men, so that each one wonders, in his own way, where he’s going to fit in in the new order of things.

Not all fictional nemeses are criminals. For instance, Michael Connelly’s Harry Bosch contends with Irvin Irving in more than one of the Bosch novels. Irving is a very politically astute member of the LAPD, who’s involved in several of Bosch’s cases. For various reasons, mostly to protect himself or other, highly-placed, members of the police force, he often tries to limit what Bosch does. He’s been responsible for disciplining him, having him transferred, and so on. Later in the series, Irving runs for, and is elected to, political office. But that doesn’t mean he and Bosch no longer interact. Irving isn’t an evil, twisted serial killer, nor a crime boss. But he isn’t above squashing investigations and muzzling the police detectives who want to pursue them, especially if his name is connected to anything. And he’s not at all afraid to threaten Bosch’s job and career if that’s what it takes. Bosch, of course, isn’t willing to shut up and go away, or ‘rubber stamp’ an investigation. It makes for an interesting adversarial relationship as the series goes on.

And that’s the thing about nemeses. When they’re well drawn as characters, they can add suspense and strong story arcs to a series. They can also be interesting characters in their own right, so that we want to know more about them, even if we want the protagonist to ‘win.’ These are only a few examples of nemeses; I know you’ll think of more.

Thanks, Sue, for the inspiration! Now, folks, may I suggest you pay a visit to Sue’s excellent blog? Fine reviews and news await you there.

 
 
 

*NOTE: The title of this post is a line from Jonathan Coultron and John Roderick’s Nemeses.

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Filed under Arthur Conan Doyle, Ian Rankin, Michael Connelly, Nicci French, Reginald Hill

I Can’t Face Another Day*

Even in today’s world of better understanding of mental health, many people still don’t feel comfortable talking about suicide. It can be incredibly difficult to talk about the depression and sadness that lead people to take that step. But, of course, we need to.

And suicide doesn’t just affect those who take their own lives. Those left behind are devastated, and often feel a deep sense of guilt and, often, shame. Because mental health issues such as depression often contribute to suicide, it’s not something people have tended to discuss openly, but we should.

Suicide is there. And it causes a great deal of pain. The recent deaths by suicide of Kate Spade and of Anthony Bourdain have brought suicide into the public conversation, but it’s a tragic reality for many families. And we see that in crime fiction, too. In fact, it’s interesting to note how often characters don’t want a death to have been suicide. They don’t want to bear the guilt that comes with suicide. Or, they don’t want to believe a loved one was depressed/upset/etc. enough to commit suicide. Or…

There’s a mention of suicide in Wilkie Collins’ The Moonstone. In that novel, Rachel Verinder receives a valuable diamond called the Moonstone for her eighteenth birthday. It may not be the generous gift it seems to be, though, because it is said to be cursed. And misfortune soon befalls the Verinder family. On the very night Rachel receives the diamond, it’s stolen from her room. Then, second housemaid Roseanna Spearman disappears and is found to have committed suicide. This devastates her family, and, of course, saddens the members of the household where she works. Sergeant Cuff investigates the theft of the diamond, and, over the course of the next two years, traces its whereabouts and finds out who stole it. And we see how the theft and suicide are related.

Agatha Christie mentions suicide in more than one of her stories. In And Then There Were None, for instance, we are introduced to Miss Emily Brent. She is one of ten people who are invited to a house on Indian Island, off the Devon coast. On the night she and the others arrive, each one is accused of causing the death of at least one other person. In the case of Miss Brent, it’s the death of Beatrice Taylor, a former housemaid who threw herself into a river. Miss Brent insists that Beatrice’s death was not her fault; in fact, she’s quite smug about it on the surface. That night, one of the other guests dies of what turns out to be poison. Then, there’s another death later that night. Now, it’s clear that the guests have been lured to the island, and that their lives are in danger. Miss Brent is not immune, as we learn when she is killed by what looks like a bee sting. And it’s interesting to see that, as we get to know her a bit, we see that she is more haunted by Beatrice’s death than she lets on.  Suicide also impacts The Murder of Roger Ackroyd and The Hollow, among others.

There’s an Ellery Queen novel in which a suicide towards the end of the novel rocks Queen to the core. Without going into details, Queen feels that he bears some of the responsibility for this suicide, and he finds that very difficult. Among other things, this shows a bit of Queen’s human side, if I may put it that way. And it shows a bit of the impact a suicide can have on those left behind.

We also see that impact in Giorgio Scerbanenco’s A Private Venus. Davide Auseri happens to be in Milan one day, where he meets Alberta Radelli. On impulse, he invites her for a drive to Florence and a day there. She agrees, and the two find they enjoy each other’s company. At the end of the day, Alberta begs Davide to take her with him, and not back to Milan. He demurs, and she insists. Then, she threatens to commit suicide if he doesn’t take her. He refuses again. Not long afterwards, Alberta’s body is found in a field outside Milan, and it seems she’s carried out her threat. The thought that he is responsible for this suicide devastates Davide, leaving him inconsolable. He takes to heavy drinking, and even trips to rehabilitation facilities don’t help. Now, his father is deeply concerned about his son, and hires Dr. Duca Lamberti to help. Lamberti isn’t sure what he can do, but he agrees. As he gets to know Davide, he finally learns the truth about the young man’s depression. Lamberti finally concludes that the only way to solve this is to find out what really happened to Alberta Radelli, so as to relieve Davide of his guilt. It turns out that Alberta was murdered, but the novel has a very vivid depiction of a someone consumed by grief and guilt because of a suicide.

Nicolas Freeling’s Double-Barrel begins as Amsterdam police detective Piet Van der Valk is seconded to the small town of Zwinderen. Someone has been sending vicious anonymous letters to various residents, and they’ve had terrible consequences. In fact, two of the recipients have committed suicide. The local police haven’t been able to find out who wrote the letters, but whoever it is bears some responsibility for those deaths. As Van der Valk and his wife, Arlette, get to know the people in town, they learn that more than one person has secrets to hide…

In Arnaldur Indriðason’s Jar City, Reykjavík police inspector Erlendur and his team investigate the murder of a seemingly inoffensive elderly man named Holberg. At first, it looks like a robbery gone horribly wrong. But soon enough, the evidence suggests something different. So, Erlendur and the team look into the victim’s past. They learn that he’d been accused of rape more than once. The first to make that accusation was a woman named Kolbrún. When she went to the police, they didn’t take her seriously; in fact, they humiliated her. Her distress was so great that she committed suicide. Although this all happened years ago, Kolbrún’s sister, Elín, still grieves. She is also still bitter about the way the police handled the case, and blames the police, at least in part, for her sister’s suicide. Erlendur knows that Elín is suffering, but he also knows that she may be an important source of information. So, he takes the risk of talking to her about what happened. She is no friend of the police, but she ends up being helpful.

It doesn’t take a detective, or crime fiction, really, to know how awful suicide is, both for the person who takes that step, and for those who are left behind. It’s hard to remember at times, but we don’t have to go through life’s pain alone. For anyone who’s thinking about suicide, here are some people to talk to:

 

Australia – 1300 22 4636

Canada – 1-833-456-4566

India – 91-22-27546669

Ireland – 087 2 60 90 90

New Zealand – 0508 828 865 (0508 TAUTOKO)

Spain (Also serves some Latin American countries) – 717-003-717

UK –  08457 90 90 90

USA – 1-800-273-8255

 

If I didn’t list your country, that doesn’t mean there isn’t help. There is. Reach out.

 

We can all do our bit to help. If someone needs to talk, we can listen – without judgement. We can help find resources. We can take it seriously when someone is depressed and check in to be sure that person has support. We can’t make life’s sadness go away. But we can stand together to get through it.

 
 
 

*NOTE: The title of this post is a line from Elton John’s Funeral For a Friend/Love Lies Bleeding

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Filed under Agatha Christie, Arnaldur Indriðason, Ellery Queen, Giorgio Scerbanenco, Nicolas Freeling, Wilkie Collins

I Had to Let it Happen, I Had to Change*

Don’t tell anyone, will you, but one of the writing projects I’m working on is a standalone (well, thus far a standalone) that features a character from one of my Joel Williams novels. By the time the book is ready for human consumption, it will have been a few years since we ‘met’ this character. And that means that (hopefully), the character’s done some growing and maturing. After all, as we get older, have experiences, and so on, we hopefully learn and become more mature.

That’s one of the advantages, really, of following (and writing) a series. Readers can follow along as characters grow, evolve, and mature. And authors can enrich their characters and explore them. This allows for all sorts of possibilities.

Agatha Christie’s main characters don’t really evolve and mature the way some other authors’ characters do. Hercule Poirot has aged considerably in Curtain, and Miss Marple becomes warmer, more compassionate, and less of a gossip in later novels than she is in The Murder at the Vicarage. But Christie didn’t really focus on character evolution over time in the same way that some other authors have.

Lawrence Block’s Matthew Scudder has evolved considerably as the series featuring him has gone on. In the first novel, The Sins of the Fathers, he is still reeling from a tragic accidental shooting that caused him to leave the New York Police Department. He drinks far too much, he and his wife have parted ways, and he’s at loose ends, as the saying goes. Over time, Scudder slowly starts to pick up the pieces. He stops drinking and starts attending AA meetings. And, although his alcoholism is always a struggle for him, Scudder makes the commitment to stay sober. He finds love again, too. As you can imagine, he never ‘gets over’ the shooting that changed his life. That scar is permanent. But he learns to live with it, if I can put it that way.

When we first meet Alexander McCall Smith’s Mma Grace Makutsi (in The No. 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency), she is an overeager graduate of the Botswana College of Secretarial and Office Skills. She is bright and hard-working, but she has growing to do (don’t we all!). Over the course of the novels, Mma Makutski gains some confidence and learns that sometimes, rules are made to be – erm – flexible. She also develops an interest in and talent for detection, so that she becomes an Associate Detective who investigates cases just like her boss, Mma Precious Ramotswe.

In Jane Casey’s The Burning, we are introduced to her sleuth, Met Detective Constable (DC) Maeve Kerrigan.  In The Reckoning, Casey introduces another regular character/fellow sleuth, Detective Inspector (DI) Josh Derwent. When we first meet him, Derwent has the reputation for being,
 

‘…obsessively hard-working and infinitely aggressive.’
 

He’s not overly pleased to be working with women (one of whom, Una Bart, ends up outranking him). And he’s not much of a ‘team player.’ Over time, he does do some growing. He slowly learns to pay attention to his colleagues’ views of cases. And he grudgingly starts to learn that women can be highly competent and professional colleagues. None of it’s easy for him, and he butts heads with Kerrigan quite often. But he does do some growing.

Anthony Bidulka’s Russell Quant also does his share of growing as the series featuring him goes on. When we first meet him in Amuse Bouche, he’s recently hung out his shingle as a PI in Saskatoon. He isn’t really reckless or rash, nor is he completely immature (he’s in his thirties as the series begins). Still, he does have some growing and maturing to do, especially when it comes to personal relationships. Over the course of the eight-novel series, Quant matures in more than one way. For one thing, he learns the value of the friendships he’s made. I don’t want to spoil story arcs, but that’s an important part of his growth. He also learns sometimes-painful lessons about what it takes to form and keep an intimate partnership. Oh, and by the way, if you’re reading this, Mr. Bidulka, I think Quant has had a long enough hiatus. I would love to see another Quant outing! Hint, hint…  Just sayin’

And then there’s Vicki Delany’s Constable Moonlight ‘Molly’ Smith, whom we first meet in In the Shadow of the Glacier. In that novel, she’s recently started her work in the small British Columbia town of Trafalgar, where she grew up. When she finds the body of wealthy developer Reginald Montgomery in an alley one night, she and Sergeant John Winters get involved in a murky case of murder. Things are awkward for Smith at first in several ways. She’s just learning her job (and she makes her share of mistakes as the series goes on). She’s also working in the town where she grew up, and it’s a challenge to establish her identity as an adult there. Over time, she develops confidence, and ‘grows into her uniform.’ She also grows personally, as she copes with love and loss in her private life.

And that’s the thing about well-rounded characters. Like real-life people, they grow over time. Hopefully, they become more mature And part of the pleasure of a series is watching the characters develop over time. Space has only allowed for a few examples here. Your turn.

 
 
 

*NOTE: The title of this post is a line from Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice’s Don’t Cry For Me Argentina.

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Filed under Agatha Christie, Alexander McCall Smith, Anthony Bidulka, Jane Casey, Lawrence Block, Vicki Delany