A Killing Sin is a female-led psychological thriller. Homeland meets Cracker or Wire in the Blood. The book is set in London in the near future. Post Brexit. Trump’s second term. But it could be tomorrow.
The story centres around three dynamic women, strong but flawed, who met at university and forged a life-long friendship. Their lives become intertwined with that of another young woman, a committed jihadist who embarks on a horrific terrorist plot spanning 12 hours that hits right in the heart of Government.
A Killing Sin forces us to consider when tolerance becomes intolerable and where security measures become racial profiling. It is a highly commercial, resonant book that is not simply a compelling and addictive read but will trigger debate.
When and where do you prefer to write?
I have a house on the north coast of Ireland and I go for a week at a time. It is right on the Atlantic (a lot of Game of Thrones is filmed there) so very dramatic.
– Do you have a certain ritual?
I buy a big box of Celebrations (other chocolates are available) and on the first day I sleep and re read what I have then I walk along the beach trying to immerse myself back in the story. I have a playlist that always has ‘Take me to Church’ on it as it was out when I first started the book and always makes me think about the lyricism of the Irish and how they tell great stories. I play it really loudly and dance and sing with no one looking!
I then write with no editing for a few days and then go back through with notes for research. Sometimes I can write 5,000 words a day and sometimes 500 and some days zilch.
– Is there a drink of some food that keeps you company while you write?
During the day too much sugar. At the bottom of the road is a very old fashioned Irish bakery that makes a great ‘tray bakes’ – things like Millionaire’s shortbread but also some speciality ones like a ‘13’ – it has 13 ingredients all to make your teeth rot but tasting fabulous!
– What is your favourite book?
A Handmaid’s Tale – it is jaw droppingly brilliant. Insightful. Sharp, terrifying, plausible and an amazing conceit.
– Do you consider writing a different genre in the future?
Not sure. Book number 2 is a few years further on from a Killing Sin and is about the rise of the Alt Right. There is a tit for tat war on the streets of the UK and we have normalised some pretty appalling views. Two characters return Millie and Alex plus some new ones. Again, it meshes the personal and the political in a female led thriller.
Number 3 I have in mind to call 11 Days – maybe apocryphal but that’s how long it can take any one of us to fall through the net and end up on the streets, I want to write it backwards from day 11 to day 1 so it’s hard to guess who it is that is begging for money in the prologue.
– Do you sometimes base your characters on people you know?
Yes, but loosely. I am sure everyone writes a little bit of themselves into characters – both how we are, how we might like to be and how we would be if some our traits were amplified or we found ourselves in unexpected circumstances. Millie is closest to me but only in parts. Through work I have met hundreds of people who share their deepest secrets with me …I have stolen quite a few of those.
– Do you take a notebook everywhere in order to write down ideas that pop up?
I don’t so I end up with ideas on phones, bits of tat in my purse and sometimes my book for the fay job
– Which genre do you not like at all?
I am not a fantasy or science fiction fan
– If you had the chance to co-write a book. Whom would it be with?
Stephen Fry – he is a true polymath so I think you would end up looking at some really new and different ideas. He always seems a really lovely man and I would learn loads…I would be an ace at a pub quiz for ever more 😊
– If you should travel to a foreign country to do research, which one would you chose and why?
I have travelled a lot – pretty much every continent so I am struggling to decide whether to go back somewhere I love (Australia) or somewhere I have never been but has a lot of history and culture. I think I would opt for the latter and pick somewhere like Bolivia.
Thank you, K.H. Irvine and Love Books Group Tours.
About the author
K.H. Irvine grew up in Scotland and now lives near London. The book was her 50th birthday gift to herself, believing you are never too old to try something new. Her work has taken her to board rooms, universities and governments all over the world and has included up close and personal access to special forces. A Killing Sin is her first book. The second follows on a few years later as Britain moves to civil unrest with the rise of the far right as the personal and political become intertwined.