What would happen if there was a gruesome murder in a small town in Greater Victoria?
Metchosin author Jacqueline Chadwick seeks to answer just that in her first novel, In the Still.
In the Still is a crime fiction about Ali Dalglish, a former in-demand criminal psychologist and forensic pathologist who immigrates from the U.K. to Canada.
Now, eight years later and set in the fictional town called Mochetsin, Ali feels suffocated and frustrated by her personal circumstances and finds herself embroiled in a murder case that forces her to call upon her dormant investigative skills.
“I stick by the rules of classic crime fiction. There’s lots of red herrings and lots of possible suspects and by telling that, I get to give the readers a view of how beautiful the community that I live in is . . . that small town closeness and sense of community that people have,” said the 42-year-old author, adding the names of places have been changed, but those living in the region should be able to decipher the real-life place she’s referencing. But writing hasn’t always been Chadwick’s calling.
For the last couple of decades, she been an actor on a number of TV shows in the U.K. Most recently she played Linda Baldwin in Coronation Street in Britain. But behind the scenes, she’s always been a creative person, writing scripts and stage plays as well.
It wasn’t until she immigrated to Canada nine years ago, first coming to Campbell River and settling in Victoria five years later, that Chadwick turned her attention to writing her first book — something she’s always wanted to do, but thought of it as nothing more than a dream.
“You lay yourself bare when you put your writing out. It’s terrifying. You have moments of insecurity and self doubt, beyond what I ever felt as an actress,” Chadwick said. “As an actress you can hide behind a character, but with your writing, you put yourself right out there and let the chips fall as they may.”
She’s currently working on the fourth novel in the Ali Dalglish series, often working from the comfort of her bedroom.
Drawing inspiration from one of her favourite authors Thomas Harris, who wrote Silence of the Lambs and Hannibal, Chadwick admits some parts of her novel can be quite grisly, dark and twisted. But it’s that feeling of being terrified that she hopes readers will enjoy and be entertained by.
In the Still can be found on Amazon in both paperback and e-book editions.