Will Reardon has it all. Tall, gorgeous, blond and blue eyes. Fit and intelligent, wealthy man who had made his name and his fortune through the power of his own imagination. All Will ever wanted to do was write. He didn’t want to change the world, just to help people escape it for a while. He had been lucky, inspired by the girl next door, he had head his lucky break in his teens and since then loved every moment of his working life. It was a shame his personal life was such a disaster. He’d married the picture perfect woman, only to find out the only perfect thing about her was her picture. Despite knowing he was a cuckold, he hadn’t taken the chance he’d had, but now he had nothing holding him back. Even with the shackles gone, what could he do? The only thing left, the thing he always did, keep working, especially when that work took him back home to the possibility of news of the only thing left he had want for. It was time to get what he wanted in life. Gillian Downes.
Gillian was a mess and she knew it. She tried to be ‘normal’ but it wasn’t working. Seemed like every choice she made was the wrong one. Work was a nightmare, her academic flare had deserted her in application. She was particularly hopeless when it came to men. That area of particular stupidity had haunted her whole life. Maybe it was in the genes, not from her mother but from her absentee father, He’d dumped her mother in the face of parenthood. The difference was her mother had found a good man and Gilliam couldn’t fault her step-father’s parenting skills, he had two fantastic sons, her brothers. So it must be her. Being short and delicate with long blonde curly hair didn’t help, she felt lost and men seemed to have this overwhelming urge to treat her as a china doll, to protect her. The problem was that she attracted all the wrong men, the boy next door, who was sixteen years older than her, the policemen who raped her, and now the convicted murderer who claimed to love her devotedly. She need space to sort her head out, she headed home to the only place she knew she was loved unconditionally, she went home.
The world had always been a bit of a mystery to Evan Conlon, he never quite understood it, had never been given the tools to do so. Brought up in the Brecon Beacons, Evan was the only child of strict parents who, spare the roll, spoil the child philosophy had been deeply felt. It had been deeply ingrained in the many scars that still clung to his body. They had hated him brought him up in fear and isolation. He had never known love. So what a surprise it was when he’d turned and hit back. He’d always been a big kid, tall and bulky, even at 13 he’d been taller than all the others in school, nearly as tall as his father, but not as strong. Only anger and fear, fear he would die had driven him to kill both of his parents. He wasn’t surprised he’d been arrested or convicted, he’d deserved it. He also deserved the years in a secure mental institution. He probably deserved the unsureity he encountered 20 years later to be released. What he didn’t deserve was to be overly vilified by a Will Reardon book. What he didn’t deserve was to meet a wonderful woman like Gillian Downes. But he had and did. All he had to do know was prove it to her.
Colin Phillips was a bastard. Born out of wedlock and dumped at his father’s door. It wasn’t a well known fact, but it was one that had shadowed his whole life. It made him keep people at arms length. Always over shadowed as a child at home by his half sister, in school by Will Reardon. He’d given up worrying about people learning the truth about him , which conversely helped him see the truth about others. It was a part of what he thought made him a good, solid copper. So at 43 he was used to being alone and letting others take the limelight, so he wasn’t bothered by a DCI that stole or the glory and treated him like a minion. He was bothered by the way the DCI treated DS Kirkbride, someone worth 10 times the DCI as both a police officer and a woman.
*He didn’t entirely understand why, when no one had ever protected him, he felt such a strong urge to protect others.
Selena Kitkbride joined the police because it was the right thing to do. The fact that she was built like a dragon and just as deadly, had less to do with it than people thought. She expected people would be just as surprised to find out she loved nothing more than curling up with a good book. She wasn’t so suer about working with DI Phillips though. She didn’t appreciate the way he dumped paperwork on her and blocked her approaching senior officers. Even to their DCI. He was probably the reason she was still a DC when men with less experience were promoted to sergeant.
With an over developed sense of justice, joining the police had been a natural decision for Charlie. Of course the reality of the world and the job had soon knocked the clarity out of that idealism. The system sunshine felt weighted the favour of the guilty. The burden of proof too heavy.
His dedication to the job was a problem when it came to women. So much so he’d had to go to court just to me allowed to see his son, the boy’s mother having decided she hated him and all he represented.
It was being a father and see what was being done to young children, mixed with the systems inability to prosecute the perpetrator that drove Charlie to cross the line and pull the trigger. being judge, jury and executioner didn’t sit well with Charlie but if it saved even one kid it was worth it. Even though incarceration meant he no longer got to see his own beautiful boy.
Life had definitely happened while she was making other plans. Being a natural for logic planning Ariadne had excelled in IT, so meeting and messaging the IT whiz in her class had been as natural as falling in love with him. Their careers had been solid, they were as compatible as any young couple would hope to be. Having a baby girl was the icing on a cake. Ariadne didn’t think she could be happier but had more in store for her, only a few short months later Sasha was taken by cot death. At a time when she needed him the most, her husband pulled away, blaming her for Sasha’s loss. It hadn’t taken long for their marriage to fall apart, so she headed to the only place she could, home to her widowed mother. Childhood friend Enzo Sanchez had told her there was a possible opening where he worked, Blackmarch prison. Prison Officer wasn’t the career she’d ever considered but she’d quickly found, she loved the job.