I’m delighted to welcome novelist Anna Legat to the blog today. Anna is interviewing Detective Sergeant Mark Webber from her latest crime novel, A Conspiracy of Silence, the fourth book in the DI Marsh series. The DI Marsh series comprises four titles: Swimming with Sharks, Nothing to Lose, Thicker than Blood and Sandman.
A Conspiracy of Silence will be published on 15th October 2020. Here’s the cover and blurb.
When a body is found in the grounds of a prestigious Wiltshire private school, DI Gillian Marsh takes on the case. The young groundsman, Bradley Watson, has been shot dead, pierced through the heart with an arrow.
As the investigation gathers pace, DI Marsh is frustrated to find the Whalehurst staff and students united in silence. This scandal must not taint their reputation. But when Gillian discovers pictures of missing Whalehurst pupil, fifteen-year-old Rachel Snyder, on Bradley’s dead body – photos taken on the night she disappeared, and he was murdered – the link between the two is undeniable.
But what is Whalehurst refusing to reveal? And does Gillian have what it takes to bring about justice?
It sounds intriguing, doesn’t it? you can preorder here:
Now let’s move onto Anna’s interview with with DS Mark Webber:
Background notes: this is the transcript of an interview that was carried out by an undercover reporter in the aftermath of the Sexton’s Canning terrorist incident (handled by Detective Inspector Gillian Marsh). When officially approached for an interview, DI Marsh was not available for comment, claiming that she had better things to do than talk to the press. Sexton’s Canning Herald’s reporter subsequently approached DS Webber in a pub for an informal chat which was recorded without DS Webber’s knowledge. The transcript was then reviewed by the Board and a decision was taken that the interview with DS Webber was not publishable as it could result in costly libel proceedings. It was accordingly archived.
Sexton’s Canning Herald: They say you’re DI Marsh’s second in command. There aren’t many high-ranking female officers on the force. How does it feel to work for a woman?
DS Webber: Personally, I don’t mind her being a woman though she can be a pretty bloody-minded individual… Anyway, it makes no difference to me what sex my boss is so long as they’re good at their job.
Sexton’s Canning Herald: And DI Marsh has a great track record. You watch her every day in action – how does she do it?
DS Webber: Search me! She doesn’t say much, doesn’t share her thoughts. She doesn’t do any paperwork to speak of unless her job is on the line and she absolutely has to. Even then, it’s just tokenistic. She’s our gov’s [Detective Chief Superintendent Scarfe’s] best asset and worst nightmare, all in one.
Sexton’s Canning Herald: So, you don’t know anything about her methods? I was led to believe she was your mentor.
DS Webber: Gillian – a mentor?! The woman doesn’t have the first idea about team spirit or hierarchy… She’s certainly not into mentoring – too impatient to explain anything. Her brain runs at a hundred miles an hour… She’s rubbish at delegating. She does everything by herself – churns it over and over in her head… When she gets the faintest scent of a lead she follows it with her nose to the ground. Behind her back we call her Pit Bull because of her dogged determination and, let’s be honest – the brutality of her methods. Once she’s got her teeth into a suspect she won’t let go – like a pit bull… But, don’t tell her that! That’s off the record. I wouldn’t dare say it to her face. [laughter] She has no sense of humour. In fact, sometimes I wonder if she doesn’t have that condition… You know, when somebody can’t read people’s faces and emotions… What do you call it?
Sexton’s Canning Herald: Asperger’s Syndrome? Are you saying DI Marsh displays symptoms of Asperger’s?
DS Webber: I’m not saying anything to that effect, and by the way, this is off the record too. All I said was that she struggles with feelings, can’t form or sustain relationships… the woman is a desert island, if you know what I mean. Off the record, of course.
Sexton’s Canning Herald: Am I to conclude that on a personal level DI Marsh is… inadequate? I did get that impression-
DS Webber: No, I didn’t say that! Gillian is the most decent human being and the best friend you can wish for. She just doesn’t make a fuss about it. She probably doesn’t even realise how decent she is. There were times when I was down on my knees, and the first person I’d go to for help was her. She has always been there for me, through thick and thin – you know? – no questions asked… Though, come to think, she can be scathing when she puts her mind to it. When she thinks you’ve messed up, she’ll let you have it big time. You won’t know what hit you! She’ll come down on you like a ton of bricks [nervous laughter and a mild expletive].
Sexton’s Canning Herald: What of her personal life?
DS Webber: That’s none of your – or my – business. Anyway, she’s married to her job. And like I said, she finds relationships difficult to digest. She’s seeing someone at the moment…um, if you thought of trying your luck with her– don’t! I don’t fancy your chances [thundering laughter].
Sexton’s Canning Herald: I am a married man, DS Webber, like yourself. I was thinking more in terms of her family…
DS Webber: She has a daughter – Tara. And even that relationship is odd. Completely incomprehensible: on the one hand Gillian can be so neglectful that she forgets she has a child – on the other hand, she’ll move heaven and earth to protect Tara from harm, sometimes totally imaginary harm if you ask me. It’s surprising how well-rounded Tara has turned out in the end. I mean, she’s a grown-up now, got married last year.
Sexton’s Canning Herald: And the girl’s father? Where’s he?
DS Webber: In South Africa, but again, I can’t see what business that is of yours.
Sexton’s Canning Herald: Probably none, but you see, our readers are interested in our heroes’ personal lives.
DS Webber: Gillian, a hero? [laughter] Then again, maybe you’re right – maybe she’s a hero of a kind… The woman knows no fear. Maybe it’s the Asperger’s… Do you think? Oh well, whatever she is, she’s a bloody good copper.
What readers are saying:
‘Brilliant. I didn’t want to put it down!‘
‘It’s a rare author who can keep me guessing until the end – and the ending was a shocker‘
‘Plenty of twists and turns’
‘A brilliantly complex spaghetti of unrelated sub-plots to challenge any armchair sleuth‘
‘I thoroughly enjoyed this book, reading it cover to cover in a weekend’
‘I shall look out for more from Ms Legat’
If, like me, you’re hooked and want to read the books mentioned in the interview, you can purchase the books here:
A Conspiracy of Silence (book 5, ready to pre-order) at:
Sandman (book 4)
Anna Legat is a Wiltshire-based author, best known for her DI Gillian Marsh murder mystery series. A globe-trotter and Jack-of-all-trades, Anna has been an attorney, legal adviser, a silver-service waitress, a school teacher and a librarian. She read law at the University of South Africa and Warsaw University, then gained teaching qualifications in New Zealand. She has lived in far-flung places all over the world where she delighted in people-watching and collecting precious life experiences for her stories. Anna writes, reads, lives and breathes books and can no longer tell the difference between fact and fiction.
Thanks for dropping by to tell us about your fascinating new book, Anna.
Sassy, heartwarming romances set in glorious locations: Amazon Author Page