Thursday Themes

Thursday Themes – Susan Handley

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Today. it’s my great pleasure to welcome Susan Handley to my Thursday Themes blog.

Book cover

Thank you so much for inviting me to talk about the theme to my latest novel, Feather and Claw.

The story is set on the sunny shores of Cyprus, where Cat McKenzie is holidaying with a friend.

Back in the UK, Cat is a rookie detective in a serious crime squad in the South-East of England and despite her plans for a relaxing vacation, it’s not long before she swaps sunbathing for sleuthing after a fellow guest winds up dead.

I was first inspired to write this story when I was on holiday in Cyprus. Lying by the pool, people watching, I found myself wondering about the other guests and what their lives were like. It struck me that on holiday people could, if they wanted to, create a whole different persona for themselves compared to their one back home.

Somebody once said that choice, not chance, determines human destiny, but I wanted to play with that idea. I thought that away from home, on foreign shores, if people weren’t what they seemed, then choices could be ill-informed, which could have disastrous consequences.

What complicates things even more is that sometimes people don’t behave out of character deliberately. Circumstances and the behaviour of other people can have a marked effect on some, causing them to do or say the most unexpected things. This allowed me to take the theme a little further and explore what happens when you get people who have something to hide and others who succumb to their influence and consequently act out of character.

And then, of course, there’s always the chance that when you take two people out of their normal environment, it becomes apparent they didn’t know each other quite as well as they thought.

Suffice to say, with all that complicated human behaviour to contend with, Cat McKenzie certainly has her work cut out for her, trying to solve a crime that no one but her believes exists.


Feather and Claw is the second book in the DC Cat McKenzie series and is out now on Amazon:

Amazon UK:

Amazon US:


Author pic

About the author:

Susan Handley grew up in England, in the Midlands, and despite a love of literature, and crime fiction in particular, she never dreamt of becoming a published writer. But the desire to write never left her and after years of writing by night she has at last been able to share the results of her efforts.

Susan now lives in a small village in rural Kent with her husband and three cats. When she’s not indulging in her love of writing crime fiction, she loves walking (the hillier the better), bike riding (the flatter the better) and tending her veggie patch.

You can find out more about Susan and her books at:







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