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We chat with master of crime Michael Robotham, celebrating 20 years of his compelling writing. 

This year we celebrate the 20 year anniversary of The Suspect, the nerve-shredding psychological thriller that marked the debut of a multimillion-copy bestselling author.


Tell us about your new novel, STORM CHILD. 

This is the fourth book in a Cyrus Haven and Evie Cormac series, but it can be read as a standalone. In a sense this is Evie’s creation story because readers will finally get all the answers about Evie’s past and where she came from.

Evie was introduced in GOOD GIRL BAD GIRL when she was discovered hiding in a secret room in a house where a man had been tortured to death. The police began investigating the murder, but had no idea there was a child hiding in the walls. When discovered, Evie refused to reveal her true name or her age or where she came from or who put her in that room. Some of those questions were answered in the follow-up book, WHEN SHE WAS GOOD, but the full details of Evie’s past remained a mystery.

Cyrus Haven has made it his mission is to guide Evie to something near normality, but all of that is thrown into turmoil on a Lincolnshire beach when seventeen bodies wash ashore and all of Evie’s nightmares come roaring back.

These deaths were no accident and the same dark forces that took Evie, are reaching out, dragging her back into the storm. Cyrus begins searching for the missing pieces to a haunting puzzle, but will it be enough to save her?

What inspired the idea behind this book?

The idea for STORM CHILD came from a story I read ten years ago about a migrant boat in the Mediterranean that was deliberately rammed and sunk, drowning those on board. I wanted to explore all the possible reasons for such a tragedy and use this to unlock Evie Cormac’s memories and reveal the truth about what happened to her.

Where did the character of Evie Cormac come from? 

Human lie detectors do exist.

The famous neurologist Oliver Sacks wrote of aphasia patients, who struggled to understand the meaning of words, but were so sensitive to tone of voice and body language, they could tell when someone was lying.

Later, Professor Paul Ekman, a Californian psychologist, became the world’s leading authority on lying. Ekman coined the term ‘truth wizards’ to describe people who could detect lies to an accuracy of 80 percent. Most of these ‘wizards’ had spent decades working in policing, the prisons, the courts and child services, developing their skills.

Ekman’s fascination with the subject began in the early 1990s when he met a law enforcement officer called JJ Newberry, who was tackling street gangs in Oakland California. Newberry had a 90 percent ability to tell when suspects or witnesses were lying to him. Somehow he could seize on gestures of discomfort, micro-expressions of anger, inconsistencies of language – signals that others routinely missed.

What was the research process like for the book?

The book is set primarily in three locations, Nottingham, and Cleethorpes in England and in Aberdeenshire in Scotland. My research involved a road trip that took me into the wilds of Scotland, talking to fishermen, harbour masters, coastguard crews and Royal Life Boat volunteers.

How does it feel to hold your book in your hands?

The thrill never diminishes, even after eighteen books. My favourite moment is when my author copies arrive and I open the box and see a new book with my name on the cover. I pick it up. I open at a random page. I read a paragraph. Then put my nose deep inside and smell. There is no greater drug in the world and it’s a wonder it’s legal.


Pre-order your copy of Storm Child by Michael Robotham, releasing on 26 June 2024. 

  • Storm Child - Michael Robotham

    Some memories are buried for a reason... the compulsively readable new thriller by the #1 bestselling and award-winning master of crime.

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