I've added details on Kathryn Fox's third novel, Skin and Bone, which has just been published.  This book is not part of the Anya Chrichton series, but features Kate Farrer, the detective from Malicious Intent.

Fox, on her website has said that Anya will be back in the next book, but that she also has lots of plot ideas for other lead characters, some of whom appeared in Malicious Intent.

Is it just me, or is it becoming a trend to have this looser kind of 'series'?  By that I mean, one where instead of the books always being centred around one or two main protagonists, the books in the 'series' feature different lead characters.  The characters have some kind of connection with each other, although sometimes it's only a very loose one. Michael Robotham has done this very successfully, and I'm sure there are others.

Actually, now I've started thinking about it, it's not a particularly new phenomenon.  American writer SJ Rozan has done it with her Lydia Chen / Bill Smith series where the characters feature in alternate books.  And, though my memory's a bit hazy, I think McBain's 87th Precinct series may have concentrated on different lead characters in some of the books.

New trend or not, I like the concept.  It has the familiarity of a series, but keeps it fresh. 

Year of Publication
Book Number (in series)

Detective Kate Farrer returns to duty after three months of leave following her traumatic abduction. Fearing that she has lost her edge, she reluctantly partners homicide newcomer Oliver Parke, and they are thrown into the investigation of a woman burnt beyond recognition in a house-fire. The post-mortem reveals she had recently given birth, but there is no sign of the baby.

With homicide short-staffed, Kate and Oliver are also ordered to look into the disappearance of a teenage girl. Suspicion falls on Mark Dobbie, a steroid user who is obsessed with the missing girl’s sister. When the detectives find explicit photos of unconscious women in his home, they wonder if they have found their prime suspect.

While the pressure to identify the charred body and find the teenage girl escalates, a quadriplegic is burnt to death in his bed. Shocking links to all three crimes emerge and Kate Farrer’s past demons come back to haunt her. But she must fight them – her partner’s life depends on it.

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Submitted by Karen on Wed, 31/10/2007 - 07:17 pm