In Your Sights is finished, at last. The Kindle version went live on Amazon on 10 December, the paperback will be on Amazon by the end of this week, and over the next few weeks the e-book will trickle into Apple, Sony, Kobo, Barnes & Noble, etc.
Much of the novel is set in Sydney’s Eastern Suburbs, the area in which I have lived for the 10 years I’ve been in Sydney. I love the proximity to the ocean, the carved cliffs on whose edges I can sit and watch the ocean, and the often-poignant decay of Waverley Cemetery.
I worked all these things into In Your Sights.
I was surprised, though, at how my mind tricked me. I would write lines about seeing this or that, and then a few weeks later I would walk over a path or cliff and think, “Hang on, so-and-so can’t actually see that!” So I took a number of location shots that I could refer to while writing.
The lawns bowls club by the ocean in Clovelly gets a few mentions. This is their weather vane, which unfortunately is not actually in the novel!
Chapter 1: There was a glimmer of movement at the edge of her vision. Caroline looked to the left and saw a bobbing light. It followed the path that hugged the edge of the next cliff, behind the Clovelly lawn bowls club. [The scene is at night, so you must imagine the light!]
Chapter 2: McGraw peered down at the slabs of fallen cliff that had piled up over millennia, and hoped that the slab on which he stood would not choose today to fall.
Chapter 2: “Hell of a spot to rape someone, sir,” Chen said with a grimace. “It’s a miracle neither of them ended up in the ocean.” Is there a good spot to rape someone? McGraw wondered.
Chapter 2: The constable pointed to the left, and added, “There’s a few on that cliff too, sir. By the white pyramid thing.” McGraw looked toward the “white pyramid thing,” which he thought was an old trig point used years ago for surveying.
This metal ring set into the stone is not in the novel, but I like this shot with the old trig point in the background.
Chapter 3: The hot air that oozed in was heavy with that peculiarly Australian scent of gum trees in the sun.
Chapter 5: One hand found the rail and he hung on, fighting the ocean’s pull as the water was dragged back. With both hands on the rails, he hauled himself up the steps.
Chapter 5: Up here, the sandstone had been weathered into fantastical honeycombed platforms that stacked on top of each other and jutted over the water.
Chapter 6: A chorus of cheeps drew Caroline’s attention to a flock of blackbirds wheeling above marble vaults. Their feathers flashed sparks of orange in the early evening light.
Chapter 6: Many of the graves had very low stone walls topped with ornate metal fences that had rusted over the decades. A number of fallen fences lay scattered on the ground. Caroline had simply heard one grate against stone as it fell.
Chapter 7: “Giovanni, Antonio, Luca, Marco, Andrea…” He shrugged. “I can’t tell you their surnames. We have never exchanged calling cards. You’ll find them by the ‘no dogs allowed’ sign that everyone ignores. When you check my alibi, Inspector, why don’t you do something about the law-breaking dog owners?”
Chapter 9: The idea of summer in February was strange to him, but he enjoyed Sydney’s version of winter in July, with palm trees and flowering hibiscus shrubs.
Chapter 9: They sat for a minute in silence, listening to the crash of swells breaking against the rocks and the joyful shriek of a child paddling in calmer waters.