CAROL’S ON THE CASE IN LATEST NOVEL ‘THE PACT
Carol Coffey has dipped her toe into the world of crime-fighting with the launch of her fifth novel, The Pact.
The Blessington author’s latest book tells the story of Richmond homicide detective Locklear, who is called in to investigate the attempted murder of a young Mennonite in a Virginian farming town and he is instantly drawn into a web of secrecy and lies spanning back to the American Civil War. Frustrated by the refusal of locals to co-operate with the investigation, he realises that to find the perpetrator he must first solve a 150-year-old mystery. With his leads restricted to historical records, the Native American is running out of time to save the orphaned boy’s siblings from a similar fate. As the body count in a seeming local feud rises, Locklear is no nearer to solving the most complex case of his career.
Before becoming a writer, Carol was a teacher by profession and worked in the area of special education for over 30 years. Her extensive background in disabilities allows her to bring the world of special needs to the wider population through her writing.
‘I am always keen to introduce my readers to new worlds and new themes,’ she said.
In her debut novel, The Butterfly State, Carol examined the reality of a young girl with Autistic Spectrum Disorder and the difficulties presented by everyday occurrences. The Penance Room provided an insight into the impact of deafness and its resultant isolation on the emotional well-being of a child. The book also examines the impact of immigration and assimilation into very different cultures. Winter Flowers explored the impact of generational dysfunction on the development of children, and The Incredible Life of Jonathan Doe, delved into our percep-
tion of identity, about finding out who we are and where we truly belong.
‘The thread of identity and belonging also runs through my latest novel The Pact,’ explained Carol.
‘From birth, children develop a perception of who they are through their relationships with their family, friends and the people in their communities. Having a strong sense of identity assists children to develop a sense of belonging and also, of security.
‘Without the right input, the negative views a child might have of himself may perpetuate in adulthood. Children who experienced a disrupted childhood or a childhood which lacked secure attachments to caregivers often present with emotional or social problems in adulthood including addiction.
‘The Pact’s main character, Locklear, is a case in point. The nomadic life his mother subjected him to and the absence of family members with whom he could identify, learn from and imitate, stunted his emotional development and led to a life absent of any true emotional connections and all too typically, to substance abuse. As a result of his upbringing, Locklear knows nothing of his Native American background and his unease, when surrounded by people who have a strong sense of place, of race, religion, family, etc., is palpable throughout the novel,’ said Carol. As a detective novel, Carol said that her latest offering is quite a departure from the themes in her first four novels but believes that this is a ‘ natural progression’ for many writers who want to explore new worlds with their writing as they grow in confidence.
While it is a step into the unknown, it’s one Carol hopes to take again in the near future.
‘For me, Sergeant Locklear is waiting for me to revive him and tell the next part of his story. I hope to do just that very soon,’ she said. ‘The Pact’ is published by Poolbeg Press and is on sale now with a recommended retail price of €14.99.