What was the last book you read?
We Begin at the End by Chris Whitaker.
What’s next on your reading list?
The edit of my next Tennison novel, Blunt Force.
Which writer would you have loved to meet and why?
I’d still like to meet Michael Connelly, to tell him he’s brilliant, and Raymond Chandler of course.
You are stranded on a desert island. Which three books would you want with you?
The Big Sleep by Raymond Chandler, The Lost King of France by Deborah Cadbury and the Complete Works of William Shakespeare including his sonnets.
Which is your favourite bookshop or e-bookstore and why?
City Books in Hove, run by Paul and Inge, a lovely bookshop with friendly staff.
What is the silliest thing you have on your desk?
A laughing fish.
Tell us about a passion you have outside of writing.
I love to polish shoes. I have shoes and boots that are over 30 years old which look like new.
Who has been your greatest inspiration and why?
I’d have to say the television producer Verity Lambert, for allowing me to write Widows.
What distracts you from writing?
Max, my Cockapoo—he chews his rubber ball under my desk.
If you could give your younger self one piece of advice, what would it be?
Pay for a good lawyer to read your contracts and give you advice before you sign them.
What do you like to do when you’re not writing?
Long walks with my dog.
What is your work schedule like when you’re writing?
I’m always busy as I write two novels a year, so I write from very early in the morning until mid-afternoon, stopping for lunch. I also have a US TV series in development, so in the evenings I’m often on calls to LA. Then there is all the promotional work for my publisher, which can have me travelling quite a few weeks of the year. But I wouldn’t want it any other way, I love my work.
Which great novel have you tried to read but failed?
What was your first job?
I worked in a sweet shop. The owner told me I could eat as many sweets as I liked, as it would put me off sweets for life. On my first day I consumed an entire tray of fudge, and I was swiftly let go.
What was the first book that made you cry?
If you could bring a fictional book character to life for one day to hang out with, who would it be?