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Nicci French | In 1990 a Woman Fails to Turn up to Her Husband’s 50th Birthday Party


Has Anyone Seen Charlotte Salter?
Nicci French

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A Novel


March 2024
On Sale: March 19, 2024
Featuring: Duncan; Charlotte; Alec Salter
544 pages
ISBN: 0063298341
EAN: 9780063298347
Kindle: B0C8JBHH1H
Hardcover / e-Book
Add to Wish List

Also by Nicci French:
Has Anyone Seen Charlotte Salter?, March 2024
Has Anyone Seen Charlotte Salter?, March 2024
The Favor, October 2022
The Unheard, November 2021

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1--What is the title of your latest release?

HAS ANYONE SEEN CHARLOTTE SALTER?

2--What’s the “elevator pitch” for your new book?

In 1990 a woman fails to turn up to her husband’s 50th birthday party, devastating her family. Thirty years a young female detective and two podcasters try to solve the crime.

3--How did you decide where your book was going to take place?

The setting is always crucial for us. We wanted a small village by a river flowing into the sea. So we created a fictional village in the real East Anglian landscape where we spend much of our time.

4--Would you hang out with your protagonist in real life?

The real question is whether they would hang out with us. There are two protagonists in this book. The first, Etty Salter, is too damaged by the loss of her mother to hang out with anyone. The second, detective Maud O’Connor is too young, too cool, too full of life, to hang out with two elderly writers!

5--What are three words that describe your protagonist?

Etty: mourning, numb, searching. Maud: fierce, determined, optimistic.

6--What’s something you learned while writing this book?

The saying that ‘time is a great healer’ is untrue. At least it is in this story.

7--Do you edit as you draft or wait until you are totally done?

We constantly edit and rewrite each other’s work while we’re writing and then when we’re done, we edit it again. We show the book to our trusted agent and editor and then we edit it again.

8--What’s your favorite foodie indulgence?

Wild mushrooms picked in a Swedish forest during our summer vacation.

9--Describe your writing space/office!

Nicci works in an attic at the top of the house and Sean works in a shed in the garden. They are as far apart from each other as it is possible to get on our property. This is no coincidence.

10--Who is an author you admire?

Sean: Patricia Highsmith. Nobody lived like her, and nobody wrote like her and it didn’t seem to bother her a bit.

Nicci: the Victorian novelist Elizabeth Gaskell, who used to write in a room off the kitchen, with children under her chair. She’s a great example of how people (usually women) don’t need an ivory tower; they have to and can write wonderful books from the ordinary domestic mess of life.

11--Is there a book that changed your life?

Sean: The Spy Who Came in from the Cold by John le Carré It showed me what a thriller can do. A grimly evocative portrait of post-war England, beautifully written and a killer plot.

Nicci: Far From the Tree by Andrew Solomon, which begins as an exploration of how parents deal with having ‘difficult’ and different children, and becomes an extraordinary, heart-burning affirmation of what it is to love and be human

12--Tell us about when you got “the call.” (when you found out your book was going to be published)/Or, for indie authors, when you decided to self-publish.

In the summer of 1995, we handed the typescript of our first book, The Memory Game, to our surprised agent and went on holiday. A week later she phoned us in remote Sweden. She told us she loved it and our life changed.

13--What’s your favorite genre to read?

Sean: I’ve always read every kind of book, fiction, non-fiction, poetry, biography everything. My “to be read” pile occupies a wall of shelving.

Nicci: I guess I’d have to say the genre of well-written books in which I can lose myself and find other people

14--What’s your favorite movie?

Sean: Rio Bravo, Howard Hawks’s great 1959 western about friendship and redemption.

Nicci: at the very moment, Andrew Haigh’s All of us Strangers, a grief drama, a ghost story, a love story, the only film I’ve been too where I found myself hugging a young man in the queue for the toilets after.

15--What is your favorite season?

Sean: Autumn, the time of fruit and game and golden leaves and melancholy.

Nicci: Spring, warmth returning after winter, light after darkness, blossom and fresh green leaves, the sense that anything is possible.

16--How do you like to celebrate your birthday?

Sean: with some good food and wine at home with as many of our children as we can round up.

Nicci: the same, but preceded by a very long swim in a river or lake, and accompanied by a dry martini and ending with some wild dancing.

17--What’s a recent tv show/movie/book/podcast you highly recommend?

Not many people have seen Rectify (2013-16), about a man released after 20 years on death row. Part thriller, part emotional drama. There’s nothing else quite like it.

18--What’s your favorite type of cuisine?

Sean: Italian. It has everything. And I love the wine too.

Nicci: Middle Eastern cuisine, small plates with lots of spices, things that are good for sharing

19--What do you do when you have free time?

Sean: I run, read, listen to music, look after our grandchildren.

Nicci: I swim, read, cook, see friends, garden, hang out with enchanting and exhausting toddlers.

20--What can readers expect from you next?

In our next book Detective Inspector Maud O’Connor returns to deal with another botched police inquiry.

HAS ANYONE SEEN CHARLOTTE SALTER? by Nicci French

Has Anyone Seen Charlotte Salter?

A Novel

 

A nerve-tingling and atmospheric thriller from master of suspense Nicci French about two families shattered by tragedy and the secrets that have been waiting decades to be revealed.

On the day of Alec Salter’s fiftieth birthday party, his wife, Charlotte, vanishes. Most of the small English village of Glensted is at the party for hours before anyone realizes she is missing. While Alec brushes off her disappearance, their four children—especially fifteen-year-old Etty—grow increasingly anxious as the cold winter hours become days and she doesn’t return. Then Etty and her friend Morgan find the body of Morgan’s father—and the Salters’ neighbor— Duncan Ackerley, floating in the river. The police conclude that Duncan and Charlotte were having an affair before he killed her and committed suicide.

Thirty years later, Morgan Ackerley returns to Glensted with his older brother to make a podcast based on their shared tragedy with the Salters. Alec, stricken with dementia, is entering an elder care facility while Etty helps put his affairs in order. But when the Ackerleys ask to interview the Salters, the entire town gets caught up in the unresolved cases.

Allegations fly, secrets come to light, and a suspicious fire leads to a murder. With the podcast making national news, London sends Detective Inspector Maud O’Connor to Glensted to take over the investigation. She will stop at nothing to uncover the truth as a new and terrifying picture of what really happened to Charlotte Salter and Duncan Ackerley emerges.

 

Thriller Psychological [HarperCollins Publishers, On Sale: March 19, 2024, Hardcover / e-Book, ISBN: 9780063298347 / eISBN: 9780063298316]

Buy HAS ANYONE SEEN CHARLOTTE SALTER?Amazon.com | Kindle | BN.com | Apple Books | Kobo | Google Play | Powell's Books | Books-A-Million | Indie BookShops | Ripped Bodice | Walmart.com | Target.com | Amazon CA | Amazon UK | Amazon DE | Amazon FR

About Nicci French

Nicci French

Nicci French is the pseudonym for the internationally bestselling husband-and-wife writing team of journalists Nicci Gerrard and Sean French. They are the authors of bestselling novels. They live in Suffolk, England.

Frieda Klein

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