Tuesday

Madeleine McCann and Soham Murders inspire 'Far Cry'


Award-winning crime writer John Harvey told SIMON WILSON how the Soham murders and the disappearance of Madeleine McCann inspired his 100th book...
IT is the story of a woman who loses a daughter in, what appears to be, a tragic accident while on holiday.
Years later, with a new husband and a new daughter, it happens again.
Missing or murdered children? One assumes the Madeleine McCann case was an inspiration.
"Well, yes it was," says John Harvey of his latest crime novel, Far Cry.
"Before I started writing the book, it was around the time the whole Madeleine McCann thing was kicking off. But I'd already had a long conversation with a novelist called Jill Dawson, who actually was a student at university in Nottingham. She lived in a small village in Cambridgeshire near Soham and had written a book that was triggered off by the Soham murders called Watch Me Disappear. Most of that conversation was trying to put yourself imaginatively in to the place of the parents in that kind of situation. That was the trigger for the book."
In Far Cry, the connection between the two disappearances and the truth behind each is only revealed in the very last few pages. Harvey keeps you guessing up to then, guessing for nearly 500 pages – longer than his usual novels.
"I didn't want to do an obvious child abuse paedophile story. To some degree that comes in to it but it's not the main thrust of the book."
Did he have to spend a lot of time getting in to the mindset of a grieving parent or one whose child is missing?
"I think once you've got a child those things are always in your mind," says Harvey, who has two adult children with his first wife and a ten-year-old daughter with his partner.
"That sense of danger, that sense of the possibility of loss. Once you've got a child that is always on your mind – their mortality and yours."
If the McCanns read Far Cry would they feel it was too close to their story? more
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John Harvey's book 'Far Cry' on Amazon