Today I’m delighted to revisit my interview with Rebecca Griffiths which was first posted in September 2019. It’s been brought up to date to include all of Rebecca’s dark and twisty thrillers.
Rebecca Griffiths grew up in rural mid-Wales and went on to gain a first class honours degree in English literature. After a successful business career in London, Dublin and Scotland, she returned to mid-Wales where she now lives with her husband, a prolific artist, their four vampiric cats as black as night and two pet sheep the size of sofas.
Over to Rebecca:
Which five pieces of music/songs would you include in the soundtrack to your life and why?
It is especially difficult to restrict myself to 5 because I love music above most things and depending on my mood will listen to anything from the wonderful piano arrangements and voice of Nina Simone to the rock band Rival Sons, but these are the pieces that continue to sustain me down the years and ones I just couldn’t live without:
J.S. Bach: Cello Suite No. 1 – Prelude.
Albinoni: Oboe Concerti, Op. 9, No. 2, Adagio.
Brahms: Intermezzo, Op. 118, No. 2 in A Major.
Pergolesi: Et Jesum – sung by Emma Kirkby.
J.S. Bach: Have mercy, Lord, on me (St Matthew Passion) — sung by Kathleen Ferrier.
What five things (apart from family and friends) would you find it hard to live without.
The unpolluted star-studded wide Welsh night-time sky.
My garden on summer evenings.
Notebook and pen.
Give five pieces of advice to your younger self?
Speak out about the abuse that’s happening at home. Make them believe, make them listen and remember it is not your fault.
Stop giving so much of yourself and trying to please people who don’t deserve you.
Nothing lasts forever. Time passes and will resolve everything.
Don’t throw your diary away out of embarrassment and fear of someone finding it. Write something each day and keep hold of it to read when you’re older.
Get good at waiting — you’re going to be doing rather a lot of it in your life!
Tell us five things that most people don’t know about you
As well as enjoying a long and varied business career, I trained and worked as a Cordon Bleu chef.
Was on Blue Peter for winning 1st prize in a painting competition when I was 9.
Play clarinet and piano.
Have ridden horses since I was 5 and once owned an ex-racehorse, the son of a Derby winner.
Love doing cryptic crosswords.
Tell us five things you’d still like to do or achieve.
Buy a campervan and take off exploring the country with my husband . . .
Write a screenplay for The Odd Women by George Gissing.
To have one of my plays for radio dramatized on BBC Radio 4.
To visit Antarctica and see Captain Scott’s hut.
To be able to afford to own a second home on a remote and otherwise deserted Scottish island.
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The House on Belgrave Street
SOMETIMES THE WORST CRIMES ARE COMMITTED IN THE BEST PLACES.
London, 1974: the country is in the grip of high unemployment, soaring inflation and a government held to ransom by industrial strike action. Alice Filby, a young woman escaping a troubled past in rural Norfolk, comes to try her luck in the capital. When she strikes up a friendship with Sandra Rivett — nanny to the children of Lord and Lady Lucan — Alice becomes unwittingly embroiled in the terrible events which befall the Lucan family at their house on Belgrave Street.
But this is not the only threat to Alice. Just when she finds her feet in her new job at a classy Regent Street jeweller, she comes face to face with Martin Price — dressed in black and wielding a sawn-off shotgun. Wanted by the police for a series of violent robberies around the West End, Martin leads a miserable life, goaded by his gran and cousin, Billy. Manipulated by all and sundry, his fear he is about to be arrested for his crimes makes him volatile and dangerous. Alice holds the key to Martin’s liberty but she is as oblivious to this as she is to the lengths he will go to silence her.
Will Alice realise the danger she is in before it is too late?
The Hidden Child
Connie splashed through puddles, the rain slapping her face. Everywhere was tarmac and concrete, fog and drizzle, but no sign of her child. ‘Have you seen my daughter? Please, you must’ve seen her?’ Connie’s face crumpled, preparing to cry. But there wasn’t time for tears, she told herself, she had to find her child.
Manchester, England, 1965: In an instant Connie’s life has changed. She only left her daughter Kathy alone for a moment but that was enough for her to vanish without a trace. As Connie desperately searches for her, she has to put the news reports of other missing children to the back of her mind. She is determined to find her safe. She will bring her daughter home.
As local farmer Ronald listens to the news, he is shocked by what he hears. He has spent his life away from the spotlight, quietly tending to his farm. But when a young couple begin acting suspiciously on his land, he knows that trouble is about to reach his door.
And then he sees her. A girl in a bright red coat who looks completely lost. Ronald knows he needs to help keep her safe and find her family. But on the wild and desolate farmland, Ronald has buried his own dark secret. Can he risk it coming to light to save her life?
The Girl at My Door
The house at the top end of Rillington Place was quiet and mostly dark. As Queenie approached the door, her heart was racing. She knew that he could help her. So why did she feel so afraid?
London, 1949: Beautiful, young Queenie Osbourne has worked so hard for her new life, moving to the big city, singing in front of growing crowds at little restaurants and smoky bars. As she applies bright red lipstick, excited for her best friend’s engagement party, she has no idea of the mistake she’s about to make.
The night is perfect: laughter, wine, dancing. But then a spark of attraction becomes impossible to ignore, and in a split second, Queenie’s life is changed forever.
Like countless young women of her time, Queenie finds herself desperate and alone, facing an impossible choice. She turns to a familiar face from her work. The only person who can help her: the quiet, ex-soldier John Reginald Christie.
It will be a relief to be in Reg’s capable hands. A relief to discover there is the possibility of a fresh start. But as Queenie stands outside the door of 10 Rillington Place, she starts to ask herself: what if she has put her trust in the wrong man?
TWO STRANGERS. A DEADLY OBSESSION. A SHOCKING CRIME.
When a close friend disappears, Angela instinctively knows something terrible has happened to her. Unable to make anyone take her seriously and accused of overreacting, her certainty that her friend is in danger serves to alienate her from everyone and make enemies with the police. But then her friend is discovered murdered, and Angela’s fixation with the man she believes is the killer leads her into a deadly trap.
A PERFECT COUPLE. A PERFECT LIFE. A PAST THAT IS ABOUT TO DESTROY THEM.
A young married couple’s lives are thrown into turmoil when a schoolfriend from the husband’s past reveals a devastating secret that has remained buried for more than seventeen years. Melanie and Gareth Sayer and their daughter, Georgie, are making a new start. But it’s not always good to start again in a place you left behind — not when it’s a place where old scores are waiting to be settled. The picturesque village of Pencarew on the Pembrokeshire coast hides bitter resentments and jealousies . . . it is a place seething with unfinished business. How well do you know the people you share your life with? Can you trust them not to lie? Can you trust them with your life? Melanie is about to find out.
A Place to Lie
In a dark, dark wood
In Summer 1990, Caroline and Joanna are sent to stay with their great aunt, Dora, to spend their holidays in a sunlit village near the Forest of Dean. The countryside is a welcome change from the trauma they know back home in the city; a chance to make the world a joyful playground again. But in the shadowy woods at the edge of the forest hide secrets that will bring their innocence to a distressing end and make this a summer they will never forget.
There was a dark, dark house
Years later, a shocking act of violence sends Joanna back to Witchwood. In her great aunt’s lonely and dilapidating cottage, she will attempt to unearth the secrets of that terrifying summer and come to terms with the haunting effects it has left on her life. But in her quest to find answers, who can she trust? And will she be able to survive the impending danger from those trying to bury the truth?
The Primrose Path
Haunted by her past. In danger from her present.
Isolated, alone, vulnerable.
Sometimes the danger is closer than you think.
As a teenager, Sarah D’Villez famously escaped a man who abducted and held her hostage for eleven days. The case became notorious, with Sarah’s face splashed across the front of every newspaper in the country.
Now, seventeen years later, that man is about to be released from prison. Fearful of the media storm that is sure to follow, Sarah decides to flee to rural Wales under a new identity, telling nobody where she’s gone.
Settling into the small community she is now part of, Sarah soon realises that someone is watching her. Someone who seems to know everything about her . . .
I wish I’d taken Rebecca’s advice and hadn’t thrown my old diaries away but I have toured Britain & Europe in a VW campervan with my family and I can definitely recommend it. Thanks for introducing me to another interesting author, Jill.
Touring in a campervan sounds great to me, sadly my OH is not on board with the idea. Glad you enjoyed the post x
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I’ve seen that hut in Antarctica!
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I love Rebecca’s music choices.
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They are good.