Today I’m delighted to revisit my Five on Friday interview with Caroline England which was first posted in August 2018. It’s been brought up to date to reflect Caroline’s latest publications. Caroline writes about the darker side of domesticity and has been described as the ‘duchess of dark domestic noir’ by Helen Fields.
Born in Sheffield, Caroline studied Law at the University of Manchester and stayed over the border. Caroline was a divorce and professional indemnity lawyer. She turned to writing when she deserted the law to bring up her three lovely daughters. Caroline draws on her legal career to write about secrets, betrayal and lies, hidden crime and ‘what goes on behind closed doors’.
Caroline has two pen names. As Caro Land she wrote a legal suspense series, Convictions, and Confessions both were previously published by Bloodhound Books.
As CE Rose she has written two gothic-tinged psychological thrillers The House of Hidden Secrets and The House on the Water’s Edge both published by Hera Books.
Over to Caroline:
Which five pieces of music/songs would you include in the soundtrack to your life and why?
I drive my family nuts by having to think for at least three an a half weeks about questions like this. Just pick anything, they say! Like most people, I guess my childhood, teenage years and early twenties shaped me, so I’ll go for nostalgia and pick five records from my vinyl collection under the stairs (that’s if my middle daughter hasn’t already pinched them!)
Childhood: Hunky Dory (David Bowie) – I was the youngest of five so I grew up listening to my older siblings records. This album reminds me of my dear and much missed sister Rosie.
School: The Clash (The Clash) – I went from a shy gauche Bay City Roller fan to a young punk rocker overnight! I dumped Les McKeown for gorgeous chiselled Paul Simonon!
Teenage: Dare (The Human League) – reminds me of the Crazy Daisy and the Limit Club in Sheffield with my lovely friend Shelina.
University: Their Greatest Hits (Eagles) – reminds me of my friend Jan and the fun we had belting out the lyrics whenever the opportunity arose. ‘You can’t hide those lying eyes…’ Uh oh, now you’ve got me going!
Work: Actually (Pet Shop Boys) – reminds me of the early days of being a trainee solicitor and the fun I had with my friend Yvonne. Luckily we still laugh as much these days!
What five things (apart from family and friends) would you find it hard to live without.
I had to ask my youngest daughter to help with this one. She rolled her eyes and said, ‘tea, nuts, Baileys, obviously!’ So I’ll add my laptop and my diary (so I know what day of the week it is, let alone the actual date!)
Give five pieces of advice to your younger self?
Tricky question, Jill! This is like being in ‘The Psychiatrist’s Chair’!
Young Caroline, you should:
– take more advantage of opportunities when they’re available.
– follow the itch to write now rather than leaving it for years!
– been FAR more confident than you are.
– don’t wear that fluorescent pink blouse with the huge shoulder pads EVER again
– stop being so fussy and snog all those handsome boys!
Tell us five things that most people don’t know about you
As my friends will tell you, I used to be a very private person until this writing malarkey came along! Now I’m a little more open and fess up to all sorts of things! I think my three daughters are worried that I’ll loose my inhibitions completely. How embarrassing would that be?
– I can’t swim underwater for more than ten seconds.
– I like gherkins but not olives.
– I was at Oasis’s final ever gig.
– I was at Headingly when Geoffrey Boycott achieved his 100 first class 100!
– I was so surprised to see Martin Fry (of ABC fame) walk into a cafe in Sheffield that I spurted out my drink!
Tell us five things you’d still like to do or achieve.
Flipping heck – another hard question!
– having all eleven books I have written so far traditionally published and seeing them in pride of place on my bookcase
– whale watching
– a safari in Africa
– Bungee jumping
– sky diving
The last two items are actually a lie, but I am a creative writer, so that’s allowed!
(NB This post features Affiliate links from which I earn a small commission on qualifying purchases)
The Sinner (published 16 June 2022)
EVERY SAINT HAS A PAST
To the unsuspecting eye Dee Stephens has a perfect life as the vicar’s wife: a devoted marriage to her charismatic husband Reverend Vincent, an adoring congregation and a beautiful daughter.
EVERY SINNER HAS A FUTURE
But beneath the surface, Dee is suffocating. Vincent is in control, and he knows her every sin. Desperate, Dee escapes into a heady affair with Cal, an old schoolmate.
EVERY CONFESSION HAS A PRICE
But is Cal the saviour she thinks he is? What dark secrets does he harbour? And to what lengths will Vincent go to when he uncovers the truth?
She tries hard to be the perfect mother, the perfect partner, the perfect daughter – but Ellie never seems to get it right.
When an old friend from university re-enters her life, dark memories from Ellie’s past begin to resurface.
As Ellie starts to unravel some shocking and sinister realities, she realises that she must choose between keeping the family she loves – and facing the truth.
Best friends forever.
That’s the pact you made.
You’d do anything for her.
And you have.
She’s always had it all.
If you could take it for yourself . . . would you?
My Husband’s Lies
On the afternoon of Nick and Lisa’s wedding, their close friend is found poised on a hotel window ledge, ready to jump.
As the shock hits their friendship group, they soon realise that none of them are being as honest with themselves – or with each other – as they think.
And there are secrets lurking that could destroy everything.
The Wife’s Secret
Three women. Three secrets.
Antonia is beautiful and happily married. Her life is perfect. So why does she hurt herself when nobody’s watching?
Sophie is witty, smart and married to the best-looking man in town. She likes a drink, but who doesn’t?
Olivia is pretending to be a happy wife and mother. But her secret could tear her family apart.
Their lies start small, they always do. But if they don’t watch out, the consequences will be deadly.
Writing as C E Rose
The House on the Water’s Edge
Sometimes the past is best left buried
Since the birth of baby Joe five weeks ago, Ali Baker has been struggling to cope. Starved of sleep and haunted by painful memories from the past, she’s a million miles away from the polished, professional barrister she has worked so hard to become.
Then her mother tragically and unexpectedly dies, leaving Ali an orphan. Haunted by her loss, Ali can’t forget her mother’s last words to her: There is something I really need to tell you…
Heading back to the Norfolk Broads to sort her mother’s things, Ali is plunged into memories of her family’s picture-perfect summers on the river.
But as she starts to uncover secrets hidden within the isolated house, Ali is drawn into a dark web that threatens to destroy everything she believed about her childhood – and her very sanity.
Ali may finally discover her mother’s secrets… but at what cost?
The House of Hidden Secrets
The imposing gates of Ramsay Hall yawned open. As Serena and 4-year-old Lana walked up the long driveway, little did they know the dark secrets that lay within.
When Serena Green accepted the role of housekeeper for wealthy widower Hayden Ramsay, she never imagined her new home would be Ramsay Hall, an ancient, sprawling mansion in Northern England.
Serena quickly becomes an integral part of the household, making friends with Hayden’s younger son Hugh, despite Jack, his older brother’s, coldness towards her and Lana.
But the hall’s beautiful exterior hides many ugly secrets. Though Serena and Jack begin to grow closer, she’s confused by his behaviour around Lana. What is he guilty of? And is there more to their mother’s death than the Ramsay men will admit, even to themselves?
As the harrowing past of Ramsay Hall unravels, Serena fresh start becomes a fresh horror. She fears for her and Lana’s safety, but what are the bleak secrets in Serena’s own past?
This house is built on a lifetime of lies… and the truth might just bring the walls crashing down.
Writing as Caro Land
Dig for the truth and you’ll get dirty…
Natalie Bach is facing personal turmoil, legal conundrums and challenges. While trying to make a difference, she walks the fine line between being a help and a hinderance.
Seconded to criminal law firm, Savage Solicitors, Nat finds herself out of her depth when she’s handed a complicated and tragic case of assisted suicide. Will she get to the bottom of what really happened?
With a heavy workload to juggle, can Nat untangle her own feelings from another very personal and troubling investigation?
There are two sides to every crime…
Returning home to care for her ill mother, and approaching her fortieth birthday, Natalie Bach is devastated when she’s dumped without explanation by her long-term boyfriend.
Struggling to pick herself up, she’s offered her old job at Goldman Law. Jack Goldman’s estranged son Julian has been arrested for attempted murder and he wants Natalie to find out why.
With the help of fellow solicitor Gavin Savage, Natalie sets out to investigate, but with a series of red herrings ahead, will she ever discover the truth?
And can Natalie avoid her personal problems interfering with the case?
Hanged by the Neck
Another dozen sharp and sweetly twisted tales from the dark side.
From betrayal to a mother’s cruelty and a curse; from a mercy killing to the seasons of a tragic life and a book club murder; from stolen identity to a resident ghost and death by cheerful daffodils.
These sinister nuggets of noir will have you thinking long after the story ends…
Watching Horsepats Feed the Roses
A dozen cameos of quirks and cruelty that traverse the dark side of human nature. From the unexpected to the surreal, these diverse bite-sized stories are inhabited by characters that are lovelorn, nostalgic, tragic, the keepers of secrets and much more…
Criminal Pursuits : Crimes Through Time – various authors
From the dawn of time to the present day; crime is an unavoidable by-product of our human existence.
Visit the cave of the world’s first detective; pass through the blitz-torn London streets; explore the pitfalls of the 1980s Giallo film industry; delve into the life of a serial killer’s wife; search for a stolen child; follow the journey of dangerous women seeking revenge; experience the pain of a man losing the love of his life to demetia; journey to Lahore to witness the survival of a woman after an honour attack; enter the mind of a woman who writes to the world’s worst killers! These are just some of the subjects touched on within ‘Criminal Pursuits’.
Fourteen powerful tales of crime, murder, revenge and love.
In aid of POhWER