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  • The Night She Died
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Inspector Thanet

THANET. Luke Edward; born 5th February 1948, son of late John Edward Thanet and Irene Elizabeth Thanet; married 1973 Joan Helen (nee Bolton); one son, one daughter.

Education: Sturrenden Grammar School 1961-1966. Left school at 18. At 19 entered Kent Police Force and went to Inductive Training School at Sandgate for initial training. Then to Gravesend, where stayed as Constable on beat for 2 years. At that time not many police cars. Panda cars introduced around then. Did something clever and got temporary attachment to CID. At end of third year got 6 months attachment to CID. Worked hard to prove himself, then came back out into uniform until there was a place in CID. 4 years later got a place as temporary DC and after 6 months this was confirmed.

Sent to Bishop Garth Training School at Wakefield on 10 week course, then after three years was promoted to DS. Then, after further 3 years to DI. The setting for the series is Sturrenden, an imaginary town in Kent and the lives and characters of Inspector Thanet and his Sergeant, Mike Lineham, do not remain static but develop from book to book. Their personal lives and those of their families are an important (and popular) element in the stories, sometimes reflecting the overall theme of the book, as in SIX FEET UNDER, or helping in the solution of the crime, as in PUPPET FOR A CORPSE and CLOSE HER EYES. Inspector Thanet works by delving deeply into the life and relationships of the murder victim and solves the crime by reconstructing his/her emotional past, a method which sometimes has a profound effect on Thanet’s personal life.

My chief interest is in character and these books might well be called Whydunnits rather than Whodunnits. I try to play fair with the reader and the mystery is solvable with the information he is given, and for me the solution must be psychologically sound. The reader must be able to look back and see that the murderer’s behaviour is entirely consistent with his having committed the crime.