As a founder member of Mystery Women in 1997, promoting Crime Fiction has always been my passion.
Following the closure of Mystery Women, a new group was formed on 30th January 2012 promoting crime fiction.
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Published by William Morrow, 30 June 2016. ISBN:
True crime isn’t my favourite genre as a rule, but I found myself
intrigued at the prospect of a first-person account of the eventual pursuit of
justice for a violent crime committed more than twenty years ago, especially
when it was written by a novelist who is gathering a strong following and a lot
winter evening when Emily Winslow was a drama student at a prestigious college
in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, she was subjected to a painful and humiliating
rape by a man who chose her at random and followed her into her apartment.
Unlike many rape victims, who are so traumatized that they need to put as much
distance as possible between themselves and the horrific experience, Emily
sought help right away. She received nothing but sympathy and support from the
police, the hospital nurses who helped assemble DNA and other evidence, and the
staff and students of her college. But the man was never caught, and she was
obliged to put the incident behind her and get on with her life.
that kind of experience never really goes away. Twenty years later, out of the
blue, having built a life, a family and a career five thousand miles from
Pittsburgh in Cambridge, she was notified that the DNA sample which had been
stored ever since the night of the rape had been matched to the perpetrator of
another similar crime, and the man was in custody.
Doe January is the story of what
happened next: the convoluted legal process, the delays and frustrations, the
hopes and fears, and most of all the maelstrom of emotions which Emily went
through as she gathered information about her attacker and police and lawyers
across the Atlantic prepared the case for trial and picked their way through
the procedures which had to be followed.
course throughout the year the process took to play itself out, real life had
to be lived as well: trying to support her husband, who is badly affected by
seeing her in pain; protecting her two young sons from her own emotional state,
and going on being a good mother to them; finishing revisions on a novel her
publishers were waiting for. In the middle of it all she received a huge blow
when she lost a close friend and her main source of emotional support; and
towards the end of the legal tangle, a surprise development gave the story a
twist to rival anything in a crime novel. With the sure hand of a natural
writer, Winslow recounts all of this, and brings to life the differences in
attitude and approach she discovered among her English friends and the people
in America whose job it was to bring the rapist to justice.
say that every writer observes his or her own life as well as living it: something
that Jane Doe January shows that Emily Winslow is adept at. Her own
see-sawing emotional state is often painful to watch; she has the knack of
drawing the reader in, and the very fact that she is such a skilled writer,
coupled with the knowledge that everything on the page really happened, made
the book a difficult read.
in the end it was worth the effort. I can’t say it ended on an entirely
positive note; how could it? But Emily Winslow emerges as a strong woman with
the capacity to rise above this heavy emotional burden and move her life
Emily Winslow is an American writer who in 2006 moved to Cambridge, England, with her
British husband and two little boys. Falling in love with Cambridge, its
gorgeousness and quirkiness and way the University permeates the city, Emily’s first
book began as her attempt to describe it The Whole World was published
Lynne Patrick has been a writer ever since she could pick up a pen,
and has enjoyed success with short stories, reviews and feature journalism, but
never, alas, with a novel. She crossed to the dark side to become a publisher
for a few years, and is proud to have launched several careers which are now
burgeoning. She lives on the edge of rural Derbyshire in a house groaning with
books, about half of them crime fiction.