After the death of her ex-husband, things are finally returning to normal for Kate Conway—so normal that she’s gotten a little bored. Out of the blue, the television producer is offered a documentary gig about lifers in a state prison. Kate jumps at the chance. The only problem is that she’s also just been asked to produce a reality show about the opening of a new restaurant—one backed by Vera, her dead husband’s mistress. Reluctantly, she agrees to both.
But when one of the restaurant’s investors is murdered and Vera is the chief suspect, Kate must ride a treacherous psychological edge, relying on the minds of death row killers to help her solve the case.
Praise for Clare O’Donohue’s Missing Persons:
“Fascinating characters, multi-faceted story lines, and plenty of action.”—Midwest Book Review
“A series worth collecting.”—Suspense magazine
About the Author
Reading Group Guide
After the death of her ex-husband, things are finally returning to normal for Kate Conway-so normal that she's gotten a little bored. Out of the blue, the television producer is offered a documentary gig about lifers in a state prison. Kate jumps at the chance. The only problem is that she's also just been asked to produce a reality show about the opening of a new restaurant-one backed by Vera, her dead husband's mistress. Reluctantly, she agrees to both.
But when one of the restaurant's investors is murdered and Vera is the chief suspect, Kate must ride a treacherous psychological edge, relying on the minds of death row killers to help her solve the case.
ABOUT CLARE O'DONOHUE
Clare O'Donohue is a freelance television writer and producer as well as the author of the Someday Quilts mystery series. She lives outside Chicago, Illinois.
A CONVERSATION WITH CLARE O'DONOHUE
Q. This is your second book about Kate Conway. Did you find yourself learning new things about her as you were writing, or had you fleshed out her character completely while writing Missing Persons? What kind of challenges present themselves when you’re writing a series as opposed to a single book?
Her husband has only been dead about six months, so this is definitely a time of transition for Kate. It’s her first time ever as a single adult. In Life Without Parole she keeps putting off the decision to buy a new car because Kate’s never made a major purchase on her own, and she’s scared. Kate is learning about herself, so I’m learning along with her. I think she’ll continue to grow and change – and Andres, Victor and especially Vera will challenge her to push beyond her comfort zone.
Rather than a challenge, knowing that Kate is a series character allows me to make the changes in her personality more subtle, slower — as they would happen in real life. It makes her more real, I think. She’s certainly become very real to me.
Q. What kind of research did you need to do in order to write the novel? You, like Kate, are also a freelance television producer –– how did your own experiences inform this mystery?
I do a lot of independent research. In Life Without Parole I talked to people in the restaurant business in Chicago and read books about life in prison. I also used my real life experiences of interviewing inmates for various TV shows and newspaper articles. Beyond that, I use the flavor of my work — the realities of being freelance, of putting together a television show, and the camaraderie of the crew — in each book. However, the specifics of the stories are complete fiction, and I do play around with some TV stuff to make it fit the novel. It’s sort of like reality television, I take the truth and tweak it to make it more entertaining (just like Kate).
Q. Will we meet Kate again? What are you working on next?
I love Kate. I would love to keep writing about her for years. Currently I’m working on the third in the series, in which Kate will be producing a documentary about a controversial figure from American history — and getting herself involved in state politics, romance, and, of course, murder. As always, Victor, Andres and Vera are along for the ride and we’ll see a change in the relationship she has with Vera as well as a new side to Victor.