I have set up individual pages for each of the DI Lyle books, but I have tried to look beyond the blurb and examine my motivations for each plot and my feelings towards the characters and events depicted. DI Lyle, his team and family are very important to me and during the course of the series I have come to know them extremely well. I see myself in the role of DI Lyle’s chronicler, in the way that Dr Watson was to the legendary Sherlock Holmes. I listen to my characters’ voices and follow where they take me and sometimes they take me along paths I hadn’t expected, some to places I would have preferred not to go if I’m honest. I’m not just talking physical destinations here either; each DI Lyle book is a journey into the mind of a killer. Sometimes their motivations are obvious, at other times DI Lyle needs to dig a bit to find out what’s going on.
Therefore I felt it important to introduce DI Frank Lyle to new readers and for those who are already fans of the series it can’t hurt to be reminded of what he’s really like and what drives him.
I have not included excerpts in the book pages. I prefer to let the blurb and internal dialogue speak for them. The only exception was in the case of Unholy Alliance. The murder of Reverend Martin Hayes was pretty brutal, but he was a man with a past, which DI Lyle and his team have to discover in order to get to the killer. In some ways I think the killer’s motive for murder is easier to understand, although I don’t by any means condone the crime. The killer made the crime fit with his sense of being betrayed and one clue at the scene gathers significance as the novel progresses.
DI Lyle is a man driven by getting justice for those with no voice. Detection flows in his veins. Literature and TV crime dramas are awash with maverick cop characters. While I love Rebus & DI Frost, I wanted to create a detective who gets results by his compassion and instinct. DI Lyle has no real vices; he doesn’t have an addiction to sex, drink or gambling and he doesn’t smoke, but nonetheless he looks into the abyss regularly yet manages to retain his humanity. I intended for the novels to provide a balance between his working and personal life. He also has a good relationship with his colleagues. His working relationship with Assistant Chief Constable John Henderson is a bit fraught at times, but the reason for that can be easily understood by anyone who has read Second Chances.
When the series began DI Lyle was getting over an acrimonious divorce and a problematic relationship with his ex wife that made it difficult for him to spend time with James, the son he loves. Frank would do anything for James; provided it was on the right side of the law. James is an adult now, embarking on his first homosexual relationship with DS Thomas Fox, but Frank still sees a need to protect and look out for his son and, although it is not legally possible for James & Thomas to marry or even have a civil partnership at the point in time the series has reached, Frank sees Thomas like a son-in-law and has been greatly impressed by his insight and logic in solving crimes.
DI Frank Lyle is a father and husband first, a copper second. This is something his ex wife, Sarah, was never able to understand, although they get on much better these days. Frank’s current wife, ex Detective Constable Jayseera Lyle, understands this and supports him in everything although she is never afraid to let him know if she disagrees. Jayseera sees james as the son she would like to have had with Frank, but they have a daughter, Jasmine, who will soon turn two years of age. James adores his half sister. Jayseera was on maternity leave during the Heir to Misfortune case, but she helped Frank as much as she could from the sidelines. She loves Frank and would do anything for him.
As well as being a good detective Frank never lets the fact that a mistake once cost him a rank and the life of his best friend and this makes him cautious, but also aware of his own failures and weaknesses.
When off duty Frank is a huge fan of folk singer Joan Baez and his favourite song is Diamonds & Rust. I share his love and admiration for her and seriously hope to see her in concert later this year. I have seen her twice before and have her autograph, but don’t tell Frank as he may get jealous.
Frank also enjoys spending time with his family & reading Sherlock Holmes books. Frank’s favourite Sherlock story is The Speckled Band. In Frank’s time the Sherlock series with Benedict Cumberbatch did not exist, but he would have been familiar with the Jeremy Brett films.
At six feet three inches in height with blonde hair and intense blue eyes, Frank is attractive to women. Hardly surprising since I based him on actor Robert Bathurst in terms of his looks and his personality is made up of fragments of characters that Bathurst has played as well as my ideal of what a detective should be and the kind of cop I would trust to investigate if someone I loved was murdered. Also his height makes him difficult to forget, people tend to remember him. Sometimes his height is an asset, at others a curse.
It’s now early 1993 in terms of the DI Frank Lyle series and in May Frank will turn fifty. Most UK police officers retire at sixty unless they are forced into retirement earlier through professional misconduct or serious illness and/or injury.
Those who are fans of the series will probably already know these facts about Frank, but I am hoping that people who surf in on a cyber wind will think this character sounds interesting and take a chance on one of the Kindle books; especially since they are currently on special offer at 99 pence/99 cents from now until 10th February 2015.