Today I am taking part in the publication day push for The First Cut by Val Penny, published by Darkstroke. This is the first book in the new Jane Renwick series.
It’s hard to escape a brutal past…
A vicious serial killer is on the loose. Victims include an academic and notable members of Edinburgh’s high society.
When Detective Sergeant Jane Renwick learns through DNA that a member of her family could be the killer, she is banished to the sidelines of the case and forced to look on impotently as the hunt for the killer ramps up.
Frustrated, she decides to conduct her own investigations.
Has someone from her estranged birth family returned to haunt her? And where will the killer strike next?
It’s a race against time…
This fast-paced, gripping police procedural is set in Edinburgh and Glasgow, Scotland. It is the first in the new series of Scottish thrillers by bestselling crime writer, Val Penny.
Val Penny discusses The First Cut
I am best known for writing crime fiction, particularly, The Edinburgh Crime Mysteries, where the main protagonist is DI Hunter Wilson. I like Hunter, I can trust him to do what I expect him to do and he leads an impressive team of talent amongst the members of his team.
A few books ago (Hunter’s Force) an integral member of his team, DS Jane Renwick made the move to the newly created Major Investigation Team (MIT) in the newly created Police Scotland. However, Jane was too interesting a character to lose, so she came back in subsequent novels as the link between Hunter’s team and MIT.
After a great deal of thought, I decided to create a completely new series of Jane Renwick Thrillers. The first novel, The First Cut has been published by Dark Stroke Books and I have drawn on Jane’s background alluded to in previous books to create this story.
Readers of The Edinburgh Crime Mysteries know that Jane had a difficult childhood and grew up in the care system, not knowing her siblings or if they survived to adulthood. In The First Cut, the theme of family is one of the most important. No one can argue the importance of family. Whether loving or trying, our relationships with parents, children, and siblings – or the lack of such relationships – can have a huge impact on our lives.
The same goes for literary characters. Their beliefs about family can be challenged, reshaped, or reaffirmed as a result of their journeys through the story, and Jane certainly has her challenges with her family. She is also confronted by the difference between her own up-bringing and that of her wife, Rachael. Rachael was born into a conventional family. Her father and mother are still married to each other, her sister is a nurse and Rachael is a police detective, like Jane.
Another of the themes explored is sexuality. Jane and Rachael are lesbians in a loving committed relationship. That apart, they are just like the other detectives they work with. They stand their round in the pubs, work long hours and socialise with the people whose company they enjoy. Of course they do!
In The First Cut, the other main themes are loyalty, which is shown both by the police and by those they pursue. Revenge is a theme explored through the criminals. It is how they justify their crimes. Lastly, but not least, The First Cutgives me another chance to explore the theme of love in its many forms. Love for family members, colleagues, life partners and even justice are important in The First Cut. I hope you will enjoy the book and the themes scrutinised in it.
Let’s Get to Know Val Penny
Val Penny’s other crime novels, Hunter’s Chase Hunter’s Revenge, Hunter’s Force Hunter’s Blood and Hunter’s Secret form the bestselling series The Edinburgh Crime Mysteries.
They are set in Edinburgh, Scotland, published by darkstroke Her first non-fiction book Let’s Get Published is also available now and she has most recently contributed her short story, Cats and Dogs to a charity anthology, Dark Scotland.
Val is an American author living in SW Scotland with her husband and their cat.
Publication Day Push Organiser
Thanks to Rachel from Rachel’s Random Resources for my invite to take part in The First Cut publication day push and for the promotional materials.