Synopsis: Twenty years ago, Kate Cranbrook’s eyewitness testimony sent the wrong man to prison for rape and murder. When new evidence exonerates him, Kate says that in the darkness and confusion, she must have mistaken her attacker’s identity.
She is lying.
Kate would like nothing better than to turn her back on the past, but she is trapped in a stand-off* with the real killer. When a body turns up on her doorstep, she resorts to desperate measures to free herself once and for all from a secret that is ruining her life.
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Guest post by Elizabeth Buhmann, Author of Lay Death at Her Door
The Life of ImaginationWhen I was very young, my family lived way out in the country in southern France. It was a beautiful place, but also very isolated. There were no other children, and although I had a brother and sister, they were a lot older than me.
Did I mind? Not at all. I was one of those kids who invents imaginary friends. I had four: Inka, Dinka, Encore and Carrot. Inka and Dinka were twins. Encore and Carrot fought with each other a lot.
In the evenings, at the dinner table, when my parents and siblings told each other about the day, I would pipe up with a blow-by-blow of what my imaginary posse had been up to.
I’m still doing the same thing, but now I call it being a writer. I dream up characters, put them in situations, and spend my time working out what happens.
I love murder mysteries, so of course that’s what I set out to write for my first book. Lay Death at Her Door is a rather dark story. I started with the idea of a woman—I named her Kate—who lied on the stand and sent an innocent man to prison for rape and murder.
Why would anyone do such a terrible thing? I had an idea for a situation that Kate got herself into. We don’t know at the beginning of the book exactly what she did—it’s part of the mystery. We know that a man was killed and that Kate was raped as a twenty-year-old. We know she felt she had to conceal the truth for her own protection.
When the story opens, it’s twenty years later, Kate is in her forties, and the man she accused has just been exonerated by new evidence. From there, bit by bit, her carefully constructed life begins to unravel until in the end, we understand everything that happened in the past.
What’s scary and fascinating to me about Kate’s story is the fact that she made mistakes when she was young, and these mistakes ended up coloring her whole life.
One reckless, heedless act—one wrong move—and her life was on a course to disaster, and she didn’t even know it. Makes me shudder—in a way that’s fun, as long as it’s not real.
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