Please welcome UK author Candy Denman, who has written for such shows as The Bill
and Heartbeat, and is now the author of three Jocasta Hughes novels.

Killing women

There has been much in the press in recent times about crime writers who are apparently killing a disproportionate number of women in their serial killer fictions, and often in sadistic ways.

The writers have been accused of pandering to those that get off on reading about it, and even that they are helping to produce the environment that encourages violence against women. This has led to many crime writers, both male and female, entering the debate and they can be found huddled in corners at crime festivals and blogging about the issue at every opportunity——so here I am adding to the mix!

My first two books in the Dr Jo Hughes series, Dead Pretty and Body Heat, both feature female victims, but in #YouToo the bodies are all male.

The next planned books in the series also feature a variety of victims, although I won’t venture into killing children or animals!

Statistics show that the majority of readers, and writers, of serial killer fiction are women, and that if you take gang killings out of the mix, the majority of victims in real life are also women, although, increasingly, other vulnerable groups such as gay men and the sick and elderly are featuring.

However, fiction about serial killers isn’t as scary as real life (unsurprisingly) and some say (including myself) that it can even be comforting because the killer gets caught. Far from glamorising killers, the stories also make the point that murder is wrong.

I also like that the person stopping the serial killer is often a feisty and intelligent woman, and this is the case in my Dr Jo Hughes series. She has a female best friend who also helps her solve the mysteries, and Detective Inspector Miller who sometimes has to come to the rescue (although in #YouToo, it is Jo who has to rescue him!)

So, I intend to carry on reading and writing serial killer chillers because I enjoy them, but rest assured, the bad guy always gets caught in my books, and usually by the strong female protagonist, often with a little bit of help from her knight in shining armour, riding in to the rescue. Like I say, it’s comforting.

Candy Denman:

Dead Pretty (published 2017)
Body Heat (published May 2018)
# You Too (to be published May 2019)

Candy Denman spent most of her life as an NHS nurse but now concentrates on writing full time. She has written extensively for television programmes such as The Bill and Heartbeat\. Having enjoyed writing both crime and medical stories, she decided to combine the two in her series featuring Dr Jocasta Hughes set in Hastings. The medical stories might come from Candy’s previous work, but the serial killer elements come strictly from her imagination.

Links to each book are:

Dead Pretty:

Body heat: