Kate Rhodes gained a PhD in American Literature at the University of Essex, and then taught English and Media Studies at further and higher education level in England and the USA. She now works freelance as a writer and as an educational consultant. Kate has been shortlisted for the Geoffrey Dearmer Prize, and her second collection of poems The Alice Trap was shortlisted for a Forward Prize. She has held English Speaking Union and Hawthornden Fellowships. Kate’s particular interest is in crime fiction. She has recently signed a three book deal with Hodder and Stoughton for a series of psychological thrillers. Kate’s books will also be published in Germany by Ullstein, by Editora Recorda in Brazil, and by St Martin’s Press in the USA.
First novel: CROSSBONES YARD, Hodder and Stoughton, UK hardback publication date June 2012.
Alice Quentin has a high-powered job, and she lives in a glamorous London neighbourhood, but her life is unravelling. Her drug-addicted brother Will lives in a van, parked outside her apartment building, and memories of her father’s violence still haunt her. Thirty-two year old Alice works as a psychologist at Guy’s Hospital, and she believes that hard work will keep her fears under control, but she is terrified of confined spaces. One night while out running she finds a girl’s body at Crossbones Yard, a prostitutes’ graveyard in Southwark. The police ask her to build a profile of the killer, and she discovers that the murder is like those carried out by serial killers Ray and Marie Benson seven years before. The Bensons tortured their victims before burying their bodies in the grounds of their property. Alice is forced to visit Marie Benson, Britain’s most notorious female killer, in Rampton Psychiatric Hospital. When Alice starts to receive threatening letters, and a second woman is killed outside her apartment building, it’s clear that her life is in danger. Her brother Will’s drug use is spiralling out of control. When Alice finds a knife in his pocket, she fears that he is involved in the murders.
Alice begins a tense relationship with one of the investigating officers, DS Ben Alvarez. When her best friend, the actress Lola Tremaine goes missing, Alice escapes from her police bodyguards to hunt for the killer, only to find herself captured and locked inside a wooden box. At the end of this gripping urban thriller Alice learns how to fight back, to overcome the memories that have kept her life in check.
Poetry collections: REVERSAL (Enitharmon Press, 2005); THE ALICE TRAP (Enitharmon Press, 2008).