Can you tell us a bit about Tom Witter and how he finds himself looking for a local missing girl?
CW: Tom Witter is an average, middle-aged school teacher living in a safe little bubble of suburbia, but he lives in constant fear of that bubble being burst. He sees Tracie’s disappearance as a threat to his world, and his kids, so saving her becomes about saving those things as well. His story is an example of what can happen when boredom and paranoia collide.
The Neighbourhood Watch group is one of the gloriously 80s aspects of the book – did you have fun with that?
CW: The neighbourhood watch scenes were so fun to write. There’s something funny about a group of people with too much time on their hands, coming together to solve a crime (and then later getting way too drunk at a New Year’s Eve party!)
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What are some of the other nods to the 80s you included in the book?
CW: There are loads of little 80s references to look out for, especially around music and TV. I grew up in the 80s and 90s, so a lot of it was pulled directly from my childhood. For example, my first crush was on Justine Bateman (Mallory Keaton from Family Ties), which is why one of the teenagers in the book is in love with her.
How does a suburban bush area like Wild Place help to serve a crime novel?
CW: Forests are inherently spooky, so there’s something unsettling about little patches of bushland nestled amongst suburbia – wild places right next to safe places – and in a crime novel, unsettling is good!
Wild Place - like both your previous novels - has a cracking sense of pace! Do you have other crime writers that inspire some of your approaches to crime writing?
CW: As a reader, I like my crime books faff-free. Getting bogged down in unnecessary detail can really slow down a read, so I’m really drawn to authors like Harlon Coben, Don Winslow and Gillian Flynn.
Wild Place by Christian White is available in store and online now.