MB: Please join me in welcoming Daniella Bernett back to the blog, today, where we’ll get a look at the inspiration behind When Blood Runs Cold, the latest in her Emmeline Kirby mystery series. So, tell us a bit about the latest book in your Emmeline Kirby mystery series which, by the way, came out yesterday, September 21, 2019.
DB: Justice is blind, but betrayal is a different matter entirely. Betrayal is insidious and razor-sharp in its clarity. Consequently, its sting is all the more potent when it lashes out and lingers longer. And thus, we come to a paradox. Which is more devastating? To be betrayed by the truth or lies? Can one be betrayed by the truth? Isn’t the search for the truth supposed to be a noble endeavor?
Journalist Emmeline Kirby has always thought so. The core fabric of her being is to shine light on the truth because the public has a right to know. In When Blood Runs Cold, Book 5 in my mystery series, I wanted to explore how this reverence can turn to raw hatred. In the blink of an eye, Emmeline’s world turns upside down when she discovers that everything she believed about her life has been a lie. She was told that her parents were killed while on assignment when she was five years old. The truth is they were murdered. She will stop at nothing to find their killer. But after 25 years, her search for clues finds her shivering on the slippery slope of a long-cold trail.
MB: What was the narrative question behind When Blood Runs Cold?
DB: How does a journalist find where the truth died and the lie began? By doing what comes naturally: asking questions. Emmeline throws herself into her work. This where I explored a parallel level of betrayal as she pursues a story about the suspicious death of Russian defector Pavel Melnikov. It is just the thing to fuel her need-to-know craving. Melnikov foolishly tried to double cross members of the Russian mob and the Russian government, and Emmeline’s hunt for answers leads to disturbing links among some very shadowy players, including the ruthless British entrepreneur Alastair Swanbeck.
At the same time, Gregory Longdon, her dashing fiancé and jewel thief-cum-insurance investigator, is betrayed by his past in the form of Swanbeck. The world thought Swanbeck came to an ignominious end. Gregory wishes he would have remained that way. Swanbeck is out for blood and Emmeline is his chosen method of punishment.
It’s always dangerous when the line between the personal and the professional blur. For Emmeline and Gregory, it all boils down to the realization: If the answer is a lie…The truth is murder.
MB: Any parting words for our readers?
DB: The story takes place in a world where having the courage to dissent or defect can make you disappear or get you killed, and getting assassinated sometimes involves poisoning. As an author, poison intrigued me the most because when it comes to poisoning, it can happen so quickly there is no time to react. Some poisons do not leave a trace, a titillating prospect when weaving a story. The bottom line is that no one escapes. Unfortunately, Emmeline tempts Providence by asking one question too many.
MB: Daniella, thanks for taking the time to visit the blog, today. For all you crime fiction lovers, you can visit Daniella at www.daniellabernett.com or follow her here on Facebook, and here on Goodreads.
Daniella Bernett is a member of the Mystery Writers of America New York Chapter. She graduated summa cum laude with a B.S. in Journalism from St. John’s University. Lead Me Into Danger, Deadly Legacy, From Beyond The Grave and A Checkered Past are the first four books in the Emmeline Kirby-Gregory Longdon mystery series. She also is the author of two poetry collections, Timeless Allure and Silken Reflections. In her professional life, she is the research manager for a nationally prominent engineering, architectural and construction management firm. Daniella is currently working on Emmeline and Gregory’s next adventure.
Daniella was interviewed for MurderBooks by Roger Johns.