Sunday, 18 November 2007

A Cold Case

I mentioned recently the many sources for a writer’s inspiration. I’ve been hoarding press cuttings that intrigue me for 20 years or more, and one of the early snippets looks as though it may just help with the story-line of the fourth Lake District Mystery. It’s a yellowing extract from ‘The Daily Telegraph’ (a newspaper that rather likes a good murder case) about the strange death of a woman called Shani Warren. She was found dead and bound in a shallow pool, but it wasn’t clear whether it was a case of suicide or murder. The authorities seem to have settled for the former, but the case still features on the internet as part of a popular conspiracy theory, connected with the business of her employers.

I’m not focusing on the conspiracy angle, but the odd circumstances of the death are hard to explain and they have set me thinking – just as they did when I first read the report (at a time when I was a very long way from publishing my first novel, and kept fretting that it would never happen.)

It’s odd to look at the other stories in the same newspaper and cast one’s mind back. Mrs Thatcher had just won another general election victory and there was much discussion about the plans of politicians who have long since disappeared from the scene I am sure that the emotional impact of Shani Warren’s tragic and rather terrible death upon her family and friends has, however, continued to endure.

1 comment:

magsona said...

Hi, Martin, I do sometimes trawl into the past for ideas, although I haven't yet found one that would support an entire story (fictionalised, of course). I think this is because the ones I've looked at invariably seem to pop up in a documentary somewhere - a cold case revisited - and the idea suddenly seems too close for comfort. Maybe I need to go back a lot further and hope nobody gets there first!