#Author AJ Waines explains the background to her latest thriller

Howdy! Please welcome AJ Waines. She’s here to discuss her latest release Dark Place to Hide. I asked AJ to share how she came up with the idea for the mystery. Tomorrow, she’ll be back to share an excerpt, but first let’s learn more about the novel.

Dark Place to Hide – AJ Waines

DARKLargeEBookThe starting point for Dark Place to Hide was the idea of a ‘misunderstanding that clashes with a secret’. I love secrets (don’t we all?!) and in this case, a particular issue is kept under wraps by the main character, Harper Penn, only because he knows it will break his wife’s heart. Before Harper can muster up the courage to tell her the truth, she shocks him with her own hidden bombshell. Most psychological thrillers have a female in the central role, but instead I wanted a male – so we can see heartbreak and vulnerability from his point of view.

Both of my earlier novels (The Evil Beneath and Girl on a Train) feature a lead character with skills that give them a special edge for solving crimes and in this case, Harper is a criminology expert who always notices more detail than anyone else. When his wife, Diane, goes missing soon after the devastating events of the opening, everyone, including the police, assumes she’s left him, but in spite of the apparent facts, Harper believes otherwise. I wanted questions and uncertainty to escalate throughout the book, so we’re never sure about the real reason for Diane’s disappearance until the end.

When I was starting to plot the novel, I’d just read a wonderful book by Claire King, The Night Rainbow, about a young child struggling to grow up when no one takes much notice of her. In  Dark Place to Hide, I wanted to involve a child in different circumstances. For my sub-plot, I chose a plucky seven-year-old girl from the same village as Harper and Diane, who retreats into the world of fairy-tales – and no one is sure why. Is it because she was trapped in the dungeons of a castle after a day trip? Is it because her mother is dying from cancer? Or is it something else entirely? Then the little girl disappears. Like my other books, therefore, there are two deep mysteries running through seemingly unrelated stories and Harper, the troubled protagonist, has to try to piece everything together – desperate to find those who are missing – while the clock is ticking…

Dark Place to Hide is available HERE.


She’s trying to tell you – if only you’d listen…

About to break the news to his wife, Diane, that he’s infertile, criminology expert, Harper Penn, gets a call to say she’s been rushed to hospital with a miscarriage. Five days later, when Diane fails to return from the village shop, police think she must have taken off with a secret lover, but Harper is convinced the online messages are not from her.

In the same Hampshire village, plucky seven-year-old Clara has retreated into a make-believe world after an accident. Then she, too, goes missing.

As Harper sets out on a desperate quest to find them both, he has no idea what he’s up against. Could the threat be closer than he thinks? And is there a hidden message in Clara’s fairy tales?

DARK PLACE TO HIDE is a chilling psychological mystery with a cold-blooded deviant lurking at the core.


AWainesPhotoB&WAJ Waines was a Psychotherapist for fifteen years, during which time she worked with ex-offenders from high-security institutions, giving her a rare insight into abnormal psychology. She is now a full-time novelist with an Agent and has publishing deals in France and Germany (Random House). Both her debut novels, The Evil Beneath and Girl on a Train have been Number One in ‘Murder’ and ‘Psychological Thrillers’ in the UK Kindle Charts. Girl on a Train has also been a Number One Bestseller in the entire Kindle Chart in Australia. In 2015, she was ranked in the Top 100 UK authors on Amazon KDP (Kindle Direct Publishing).

Her new psychological thriller, Dark Place to Hide, was released on July, 2015.

Alison lives in Southampton, UK, with her husband. Visit her website and blog, or follow her on Twitter and Facebook.  Dark Place to Hide is available HERE.


About TBM

TB Markinson is an American who's recently returned to the US after a seven-year stint in the UK and Ireland. When she isn't writing, she's traveling the world, watching sports on the telly, visiting pubs in New England, or reading. Not necessarily in that order. Her novels have hit Amazon bestseller lists for lesbian fiction and lesbian romance. She cohosts the Lesbians Who Write Podcast (lesbianswhowrite.com) with Clare Lydon. TB also runs I Heart Lesfic (iheartlesfic.com), a place for authors and fans of lesfic to come together to celebrate lesbian fiction.
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15 Responses to #Author AJ Waines explains the background to her latest thriller

  1. alison345 says:

    Thanks so much, TB, for hosting me on your excellent blog and all the very best with your writing!

  2. patgarcia says:

    Your book sound very interesting AJ because I studied Psychology at university and the workings of the human mind and how it affects our behaviour interest me very much. I’ve put your book on my TBR list and have bought it for my iPad.
    All the best.
    Pat Garcia

    • alison345 says:

      Thank you, Pat! How lovely to tell me and for reblogging – and yes, psychology is fascinating isn’t it? I’m very interested in people’s motives for doing ‘bad’ things.

  3. patgarcia says:

    Reblogged this on Book Reviews by Pat Garcia and commented:
    Good Morning Everyone,
    AJ Waines’ new thriller, Dark Place To Hide, has been released. TBM did an author’s interview with her that I find extremely interesting.
    Pat Garcia

  4. Pat Hatt says:

    That is a good way to be, keep the questions and uncertainty until the very end.

  5. Oooh, this sounds really good! I love books where the author keeps you guessing and changing your mind right up until the very end.

  6. Really interesting blend of elements. And yeah, she really dropped a bombshell on him.

  7. cleemckenzie says:

    The author’s background must have served her well in the writing of this book. Sounds like a great read.

  8. alison345 says:

    Ah – thanks C. Lee!

  9. I like the sound of this psychological thriller. The author is very accomplished. I wish her the best with this latest release.

  10. Nothing like good secrets to add suspense to a story! This one sounds fascinating.

  11. Pingback: #Excerpt of Dark Place to Hide by AJ Waines | Making My Mark

  12. Looks like an amazing read. 🙂

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