Today I’m delighted to be hosting a stop on the fabulous Breaking Dead Blog Tour and have Corrie Jackson take over the reins here at CTG HQ and talk about her London: the places that inspired Breaking Dead. Over to Corrie …
When it came to choosing a setting for my debut thriller, there was only one contender. Noel Coward famously remarked: ‘I don’t know what London’s coming to – the higher the buildings, the lower the morals’. From leafy squares and supercars to concrete jungles and crack-dens, London is a city bursting at the seams. Here are five of the capital’s gems that guest-star in the book.
The Covent Garden Hotel
In my novel, a grisly murder occurs on the third floor of fictional hotel, The Rose. My inspiration was this discreet establishment in the heart of the West-End. It’s a stone’s throw from where I used to work at Grazia magazine and I spent many a lunch meeting celeb-spotting at Brasserie Max (whilst hard at work, ahem). However, the sleek hotel lobby that appears in the book is based on another London institution: Claridge’s. Why the mish-mash? I have no idea; it just felt right.
I wanted my protagonist, Sophie Kent, to live somewhere classy but charming. This Chelsea cul-de-sac, complete with pastel houses and shiny black railings, hits the spot. Sophie lives at number seven (my old house number in Fulham). London trivia: John Le Carre’s fictional MI6 intelligence officer, George Smiley, lived at number nine. Sophie is in good company!
The tense dinner between Sophie and her dad takes place at this Mayfair hotspot (although I renamed it L’Ondine in the book). The restaurant is within spitting distance of Conde Nast (the publisher of VOGUE, GLAMOUR and GQ) and it became our unofficial HQ when it first opened in 2007. I’m happy to say every meal I’ve eaten at Wild Honey has ended better than the one in the book.
Historians know it as the residence of two former Prime Ministers: Winston Churchill and George Canning. I know it as the setting for the annual GLAMOUR Women of the Year Awards (a celeb-packed, debauched affair). I set my fictional fashion show here but combined it with another memory. In 2011, designer Erdem held his spring/summer show in a giant white tent in the middle of Bedford Square. I reported on the backstage antics for GLAMOUR and the essence of the show appears in Breaking Dead.
Built in 1873, the bridge is nicknamed ‘The Trembling Lady’ because it vibrates when large numbers of people walk across it. I used to live in Pimlico and my running route took me along Embankment towards Albert Bridge (the same route Sophie walks in the book). My heart lifted the moment I spotted this candy-floss pink bridge dotted with twinkling fairy lights. Sophie, on the other hand, associates it with her brother’s death. Mainly because I liked the idea of her tragedy being entangled with such a beautiful landmark.
A big thank you to Corrie for making the CTG Blog a stop on her tour and talking to us about the places that inspired BREAKING DEAD.
Intrigued to find out more about BREAKING DEAD? Here’s the blurb: “Newspaper journalist Sophie Kent is hanging by a thread following her brother’s suicide, her personal life in chaos. When the mutilated body of a Russian model turns up in an upmarket hotel on the eve of London Fashion Week, Sophie recognises her from a recent interview and knows she could have saved her. Eaten away by guilt, she throws herself headfirst into the edgy, fast-paced world of fashion with one goal in mind: to catch the killer. Only then can she piece her grief-stricken self back together. As she chips away at the industry’s glittery surface, she uncovers a toxic underworld rife with drugs, secrets, prostitution and blackmail. Battling her demons and her wealthy, dysfunctional family along the way, Sophie pushes her personal problems to one side as she goes head to head with a crazed killer; a killer who is only just getting started…”
BREAKING DEAD is out today in eBook (and will be released in paperback in September). To buy the eBook from Amazon click here
To find out more about Corrie Jackson pop over to her website here and follow her on Twitter @CorrieJackson
And be sure to check out all the other fantastic stops along the BREAKING DEAD Blog Tour …