"We all remember that kid in Piccadilly. That determined look he had on his face as he willed all those people to him. Just using his mind he pulled them close then blew them all to pieces. It could be anyone. Your neighbour, your friend, your lover. Remain vigilant. Reachers are everywhere."
When the perfect job comes up Charlie doesn't think twice about taking it. This is the break he's been looking for and nobody, not even the rest of his team, can persuade him otherwise.
The job means working for an old enemy and crossing the border into London. Both are risky but Charlie has no idea how high the stakes really are.
The team will have to confront their past, each other and a killer who is closer than they realise. But can they all make it out of the city alive?
This is the second installment in the Reacher series.
Thank you, Mrs. Fitzpatrick
Dystopic and apocalyptic genres are often mistaken. Please, tell us what kind of story is Border Line (and The Running Game).
Border Lines and The Running Game are paranormal thrillers set against a dystopian backdrop. In a future of war, disease, and famine, most of the British population have moved south to try and make their fortune in London. But London is sealed off from the poor and poverty stricken, leaving them to found their own shanty town, Safe Haven, around the capital city.
The Running Game is set in Safe Haven, where Rachel Aaron is being hunted by one of the many criminal gangs for the powers she has. But in Border Lines, Rachel and the other characters manage to sneak across the border into London itself and see exactly what has become of the wealthy and privileged. On the surface London appears very much as it is now, but very quickly Rachel realises the city is just as broken as the rest of the country.
How hard is to create a dystopic/apocalyptic world and what make great such story?
As a writer (and a reader) I am much more interested in dystopia then I am the real world, so for me creating a broken world is probably easier than writing anything else.
Writing a story with such a sombre background sets a tone to the plot, but also it pushes readers out of their comfort zone. As a writer you can be as creative and unnerving as you like. In The Running Game and Border Lines I wanted to make the world as possible as... well as possible to enable the reader to identify with the dire circumstances the characters find themselves in. It's not real but it could be and I think that is the real appeal in dystopic/apocalyptic fiction.
Safe Haven is the short companion piece to the novel The Running Game and so part of the Reacher series. Lately, most of the series come with such novellas. What these novellas bring to a series and, if they are important, why they are not included in the main volumes?
There are a lot of scenes and back stories to the Reacher series which would overwhelm the individual novels and detract from the main plot too much. I like to look at them as deleted scenes like you get in films. A lot of them are irrelevant and only really useful to me as I work on plot or character development, but there are some, like Safe Haven, that work as standalone short stories and expand upon characters or history that I couldn't fit in to the main plot.
For instance Safe Haven is all about Rachel's sister. In The Running Game Rachel's sister is already dead but her life does have an impact on the book even if it isn't that important to the overall plot. I couldn't include her without causing lots of confusion (and giving myself a headache) but I didn't want to ignore her either so she has a little novella which has proved to be really popular.
The other short story Family bridges the ten month gap between The Running Game and Border Lines. Actually this was an exercise for me to work out the relationship between Rachel and the Smith Brothers - basically how they stopped being strangers and started to become a makeshift family - and it turned into a short story of its own.
Readers don't need to read the novellas to get involved in the overall series but a lot of people find them a good introduction and I suppose it helps that all the novellas are available for download for free.
You wanted to write something your friend would want to read, but also what you would want to read. Do you still believe that? Yes, why, no, why?
I think that writers should always remember that before everything else a book should be enjoyed. If it's arduous or boring what's the point? When I write I just want to captivate my audience, so I try to write what captivates me and the people I know. That way I stay true to myself and true to my audience.
Do you think that a good book must send also a message or all is just for entertainment?
I think a book should first and foremost entertain. There is no point having a poignant message lost in a boring book. Personally I am less empowered by a book that has a message - probably because I'm too headstrong - and more interested in a book that has themes instead. Books that make you think are much cleverer than books that tell you what to think. Again I think that's maybe why I like dystopic/apocalyptic books - it's not about the do's and do not's and much more about the what if's.
About the author:
L E Fitzpatrick was born in Hull, East Yorkshire, but now lives in West Wales, with her family plus lots of dogs and cats. She manages an office, volunteers as a room steward for the National Trust and also supports independent authors as a proofreader and beta reader. She obviously has no spare time because of this, but if she did it would probably be invested in walking in the countryside and enjoying the peace and quiet.
L E Fitzpatrick published her first series Dark Waters in 2011 and is currently working on her Reacher series.