Today I’m delighted to revisit my Five on Friday interview with Jane Isaac which was first posted in Dec 2018. It’s been brought up to date to reflect Jane’s latest publications.
Jane is author of three bestselling detective series: DCI Helen Lavery, DI Will Jackman (based in Stratford upon Avon), and DC Beth Chamberlain (a Family Liaison Officer). Her novels have been nominated as best mystery in the ‘eFestival of Words Best of the Independent eBook awards’ and selected as ‘Thriller of the Month’ by E-thriller.com.
2021 saw Jane’s first foray into psychological suspense with the release of One Good Lie. This has recently been followed with One Fatal Secret.
Over to Jane:
Hi! My name is Jane Isaac and I live in rural Northamptonshire, UK with my (recently retired) detective husband (very helpful for research!) and my daughter. I can often be found trudging over the fields with my dogs.
Some people have a fixed idea of their calling from a young age. I never did. I ambled through life, fell upon a career in the civil service, made great friends, met my husband and holidayed frequently – all endless fun. But there was something missing. To fill the void I took up numerous courses including French, art, law, pottery, personnel management and even sign language.
The turning point for me came almost twenty years ago when my husband and I took a year out to travel the world and a friend gave me a journal to keep as a present. This journal was to become my most treasured travel companion, apart from my husband of course! The photos we took drew on memories but, even years later, when reading the diary I could smell the spices in Kuala Lumpur, hear the street music of Bangkok, feel the thick heat that pervades the wonderfully clean Singapore, see the red earth of Australia.
Realising the power of words, my love affair with writing began. I enrolled on a creative writing course and started writing articles for newspapers and magazines. Then I discovered writing fiction and, in 2007, embarked on my first novel, An Unfamiliar Murder, which was picked up by an American publisher. And I’ve never looked back.
Which piece of music/song would you include in the soundtrack to your life and why?
The Pearl Fishers by Bizet. It reminds me of my late mother-in-law, the kindest and most grounded person I’ve ever known.
Come On Eileen by Dexys Midnight Runners. Because my daughter and I dance around the lounge whenever it plays on the iPod.
Forever Young by Alphaville. A little reminder that our bodies grow but our minds don’t need to.
Get Here by Oleta Adams. When we were engaged, my (now) husband and I were separated during the week when he went away to university. As the weekend approached, I’d play this and look forward to him coming home.
Patience by Guns and Roses. Because I’ve never had enough!
What (apart from family and friends) would you find it hard to live without.
I’m assuming we include our pets in with family? Okay, them aside, here goes:
Photographs. They are the connection to my past and my only link to lost loved ones; the memories keep me happy.
My travel diaries. Twenty years ago my husband and I took a year out to travel the world and recorded our experiences in diaries every day. Without the diaries, my ageing brain would forget about some of the people we met and the amazing things we did during that crazily special year.
Tea. Who could live without it?
A notebook and pen.
Flowers. They make me smile
Can you offer a piece of advice for your younger self?
Care less what others think about you.
Celebrate the differences in people. The world would be a boring place if we were all the same.
Worrying about things out of your control is wasted energy.
Believe in yourself and reach for the stars – you can do it.
Almonds will never taste good, no matter how much they are disguised.
Tell us something that most people don’t know about you
I was born in London within the sound of the Bow Bells, although I don’t share the Cockney accent.
I’m learning to play the ukulele.
I don’t kill spiders, wasps or slugs (even though the slugs eat my plants), but have a phobia of maggots.
I’ve never ridden in a helicopter, although I’d love to. Anyone?
I’ve tried the UK’s hottest chilli, the Dorset Naga, and, yes, it is hot!
Tell us something you’d still like to do or achieve.
Travel, travel, travel, travel and more travel. I’d love to see Vietnam, Cambodia and Laos. Plus, the Nordics, especially the Norwegian Fiords. A month travelling around Italy would be amazing, and then, of course, hire a campervan and travel through Europe…
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One Fatal Secret
Sometimes your enemies are closer than you think…
Nicole Jameson has always been proud of her husband, Ethan. He’s built a successful career in finance, and his employers, the Harrisons, treat them like family. They’re a firm who look after their own, and even gave a loan to the company chauffeur, Conrad, to fund his pilot licence.
When the two men are returning from a business trip, the worst possible thing happens – their plane crashes into the sea. No survivors are expected to be found. Nicole is heartbroken, much like Conrad’s wife, Ania. She never warmed to Nicole, but now they share a bond of grief.
When evidence is found that Conrad took drugs shortly before the plane departed with him at the controls, the two women begin to wonder if all is not what it seems. But when they ask questions about events leading up to the crash, unsettling occurrences suggest it wasn’t a good idea. Sinister-looking men follow them, the Harrisons are increasingly cagey, and the women wonder if there is not more to this than a tragic accident.
But are the most dangerous people the ones they have already allowed to get too close…?
One Good Lie
Even the littlest lies can have the biggest consequences…
On the night of her mother’s wake, only one thing brings Ruby comfort; the knowledge that her mother’s killer is safely behind bars. But guilt is eating away at fragile younger sister Sophie, who brought their mother’s killer into their lives.
This is why Ruby is glad that Sophie is with her supportive boyfriend Ewan, despite Ruby’s doubts about him. He’s been Sophie’s rock, not only taking care of her, but her little kids, too. So what if he doesn’t like talking about his past?
But when news of another woman’s murder spreads through their town like wildfire, Ruby is shocked to find herself with reason to suspect Ewan of the crime. And with one good lie driving a wedge between the sisters, it’s hard for Ruby to get Sophie to see what she sees. Ewan is keeping dangerous secrets. But he’s not the only person close to home who has something shocking to hide…
DC Beth Chamberlain series
The Other Woman (Book 1)
The grieving widow. The other woman. Which one is which?
When Cameron Swift is shot and killed outside his family home, DC Beth Chamberlain is appointed Family Liaison Officer. Her role is to support the family – and investigate them.
Monika, Cameron’s partner and mother of two sons, had to be prised off his lifeless body after she discovered him. She has no idea why anyone would target Cameron.
Beth can understand Monika’s confusion. To everyone in their affluent community, Monika and her family seemed just like any other. But then Beth gets a call.
Sara is on holiday with her daughters when she sees the news. She calls the police in the UK, outraged that no one has contacted her to let her know or offer support. After all, she and Cameron had been together for the last seven years.
Until Cameron died, Monika and Sara had no idea each other existed.
As the case unfolds, Beth discovers that nothing is quite as it appears and everyone, it seems, has secrets. Especially the dead…
Previously published as After He’s Gone, The Other Woman is the first book featuring DC Beth Chamberlain.
For Better, For Worse (Book 2)
Stuart Ingram was once a respected local councillor…
The first time the police knocked on Gina’s door, they arrested her husband.
The second time, they accused him of child abuse.
But he died a guilty man.
This time, the police are here for Gina – to tell her that her husband is dead. Murdered, just two weeks before his trial.
Gina always stood by her husband. Even when everyone else walked away. She believed the trial would clear his name. But now Stuart is dead.
And his wife is the suspect.
It’s a race against time for DC Beth Chamberlain to uncover the truth – especially when a second man turns up dead.
Domestic noir meets police procedural in this pacy thriller from Jane Isaac, perfect for fans of Samantha Downing, Fiona Barton and K.L. Slater. Previously published as Presumed Guilty.
Hush Little Baby (Book 3)
Someone stole a baby…
One sunny day in July, someone took three-month-old Alicia Owen from her pram outside a supermarket. Her mother, Marie, was inside. No one saw who took Alicia. And no one could find her.
They silenced her cry…
Fifteen years later, a teenager on a construction site sees a tiny hand in the ground. When the police investigate, they find a baby buried and preserved in concrete. Could it be Alicia?
But the truth will always out.
When Alicia disappeared, the papers accused Marie of detachment and neglect. The Owens never got over the grief of their child’s disappearance and divorced not long after. By reopening the case, DC Beth Chamberlain must reopen old wounds. But the killer may be closer than anyone ever suspected…
DCI Helen Lavery series
An Unfamiliar Murder (Book 1)
Some secrets just won’t stay buried.
Arriving home from a routine day at work, Anna Cottrell has no idea that her life is about to change forever. But discovering the stabbed body of a stranger in her flat, then becoming prime suspect in a murder inquiry is only the beginning. Her persistent claims of innocence start to crumble when new evidence links her irrevocably with the victim…
Leading her first murder investigation, DCI Helen Lavery unravels a trail of deception, family secrets and betrayal. When people close to the Cottrell family start to disappear, Lavery is forced into a race against time. Can she catch the killer before he executes his ultimate victim?
The Truth Will Out (Book 2)
CALL OF DEATH
Eva Carradine is horrified when she witnesses an attack on her best friend, Naomi Spence, during a video call. Fearing for her own safety, Eva calls an ambulance and flees her home. DCI Helen Lavery leads the investigation into Naomi’s murder, but with no leads, no further witnesses and no sign of forced entry, the pieces of the puzzle are slow to come together.
As Helen inches towards solving the case, her past becomes caught up in her present. Someone is after both her and Eva. Someone who will stop at nothing to get what they want. When the net starts to close around them, can Helen escape her own demons as well as help Eva to escape hers?
A Deathly Silence (Book 3)
When the mutilated body of a police officer is found in a derelict factory, the Hamptonshire police force is shocked to the core.
DCI Helen Lavery returns from injury leave and is immediately plunged into an investigation like no other. Is this a random attack or is someone targeting the force? Organised crime groups or a lone killer?
As the net draws in, Helen finds the truth lies closer than she could have imagined, and trusts no one.
But Helen is facing a twisted killer who will stop at nothing to ensure their secrets remain hidden. And time is running out…
Evil Intent (Book 4)
When a series of women’s bodies is discovered in the heart of rural Hamptonshire with a pentagram carved on their chests, DCI Helen Lavery is forced into a cat-and-mouse chase with a murderer who ultimately turns the tables and targets her.
Meanwhile, she is shocked to discover that her younger son’s new best friend is the nephew of organised crime boss Chilli Franks – the man who has held a grudge against Helen’s family since her father first put him away in the 1990s.
As her personal and professional lives collide, Helen finds herself in mortal danger as she races to track down the serial killer and restore safety to the streets of Hampton.
DI Will Jackman series
Before It’s Too Late (Book 1)
Following an argument with her British boyfriend, Chinese student Min Li is abducted whilst walking the dark streets of picturesque Stratford-upon-Avon alone.
Trapped in a dark pit, Min is at the mercy of her captor. Detective Inspector Will Jackman is tasked with solving the case and in his search for answers discovers that the truth is buried deeper than he ever expected.
But, as another student vanishes and Min grows ever weaker, time is running out. Can Jackman track down the kidnapper, before it’s too late?
Beneath the Ashes (Book 2)
The floor felt hard beneath her face. Nancy opened her eyes. Blinked several times. A pain seared through her head. She could feel fluid. No. She was lying in fluid.
When a body is discovered in a burnt-out barn in the Warwickshire countryside, DI Will Jackman is called to investigate. Nancy Faraday wakes up on the kitchen floor. The house had been broken into and her boyfriend is missing. As the case unravels, DI Jackman realizes that nothing is quite as it appears and everyone, it seems, has a secret. Can he discover the truth behind the body in the fire, and track down the killer before Nancy becomes the next victim?
The Lies Within (Book 3)
Be under no illusions by her kind face and eloquent manner . . . This woman is guilty of murder . . .
Grace Daniels is distraught after her daughter’s body is found in a Leicestershire country lane. With her family falling apart and the investigation going nowhere, Grace’s only solace is the re-emergence of Faye, an old friend who seems to understand her loss. DI Will Jackman delves into the case, until a family tragedy and a figure from his past threaten to derail him.
When the police discover another victim, the spotlight falls on Grace. Can Jackman find the killer, before Grace is convicted of a crime she didn’t commit?