Crime mastermind
YOU South Africa|18 November 2021
Michael Robotham on his new novel, literary cross-dressing and what it’s like to kill offhis characters
JANE VORSTER

In just a few sentences, what is your new novel, When You Are Mine, about?

Philomena McCarthy, an ambitious young constable, has defied the odds to join the London Metropolitan Police, because she comes from a family of notorious criminals. Called to a domestic abuse incident, she rescues a young woman, Tempe Brown, from a violent partner, who turns out to be a decorated London detective. The case is hushed up, but Philomena has made dangerous enemies.

Was it a difficult book to write?

It’s written in the first person from the point of view of Philomena. This meant that a balding, greying, grumpy (according to my children) middle-aged man, had to look at the world through the eyes of a 26-year-old woman, newly engaged, excited about her career. This literary cross-dressing is challenging and scary, but also great fun.

Many authors have referenced Covid in their new books but you have avoided doing this. Why?

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