The idea for Slaughterhouse came to me on a cold November day back in 2011. I was walking alone in a desolate place close to home and I stumbled upon an eerie, silent building – a disused slaughterhouse. It had been cleared of debris, but still retained that abandoned, malevolent feeling, like it held a secret, but couldn’t let it out. A rusted metal frame hung on the wall containing a smeared ink-on-paper description of the age-old process of rearing cattle for slaughter to provide food for large households in hungry, rural communities. The place felt wild, was shrouded in secrecy and ripe for hijacking as my madhouse.
When I went home and wrote Slaughterhouse that night, I wanted to express that sense of isolation. I wanted chilling – and I think chilling is exactly what we got.
I don’t want to produce cliché after cliché in my books. I work tirelessly to give readers something they haven’t seen or heard before and never just a subtle variation on a theme. It’s too much of a cop-out. How many thrillers describe gangs of violent men attacking defenceless, weak women? It’s been done to death, literally. In Slaughterhouse, I challenge assumptions about control and then I go one step further: I tip the balance the other way. Cringeworthy social stereotypes are torn up and destroyed and I think readers will appreciate that, but I always make sure people’s expectations of the genre are still met. The book is completely recognisable as a suspense thriller, with all the build-up you expect of a psychological conflict. Events are subtly crafted to draw readers into a relaxed sense of security, then to lead them gradually astray to a place where safety is not a given and self-control starts to wane. By the end of the book, many of the people I’ve tried it out on report feelings of surprise, uncertainty, fear, excitement and of being desperately on edge. Call me cruel, but that was the idea. And don’t say you don’t love the thrill of the chase. Every suspense lover I’ve met wants to test their boundaries, feel a bit scared and generally enjoy the ride.
Slaughterhouse has been compared to Misery for its subtlety, detail and intensity, Gone Girl for its emotional turmoil and Texas Chainsaw Massacre for horror fix. It is a dark, brooding, psychological thriller set in Fort Worth, Texas with a tense, dramatic storyline and a killer ending. Best described as a short novel, it is about a third the length of a standard book – enough to capture the imagination and entertain you without losing its fiery theme. Slaughterhouse featured in Crime Fiction Lover’s ‘New Talent November’ series in 2012 and was nominated for the prestigious 2013 International Thriller Award. It’s now available as a slick PAPERBACK for all you real-book lovers out there. To preview for free go to Goodreads, Amazon UK, Amazon US or Kobo or visit the official Slaughterhouse website to Dare Before You Die.