A bit of a chat with Jane Casey – part two

after the firejane

Yesterday Liz of Liz Loves Books presented part one of our little chat that we had with the talented Jane Casey. We had such a fabulous time talking about our love for Derwent, Maeve and the whole series. We want everyone to share in our Derwent love! This is the second part.

Part one is here on Liz Loves Books (in case you missed it).

The latest Maeve Kerrigan novel, After the Fire comes out in paperback on the 19th November 2015 from Ebury and is available NOW in hardback or e-book. 

Part two


Ah now see it’s interesting because bang on you are right that too much focus on the love life can take readers out of the moment – I think personally you walk that line brilliantly. Jane knows I’m NOT a Rob fan particularly but perhaps that’s because he’s been a bit horrible to poor Maeve lately. And the pairing of Derwent and Maeve is so beautifully perfect – for me I think that Derwent is right for Maeve in every single way EXCEPT romantically – I’ve said before I can see them in the same old people’s home in years to come causing trouble and sniping at each other – for me they definitely have the best friends vibe even though they clash!

Derwent has a lot of depth to him that has come out over the course of the books since he arrived on the scene. I understand completely why he divides opinion but I don’t like non Derwent people. They are not my people 🙂

Certainly the two are beginning to define each other in ways that I can’t wait to see develop – I would hate to have one without the other these days (although I REALLY don’t care if you dump Rob but perhaps I’ll change my mind after the next book!) The thing with both Maeve and Derwent is they are both extraordinarily strong characters in their own right but as a pairing they are an absolute force of nature. I love them!

Jane Casey

Opinions are extremely varied on Rob, from ‘he’s perfect for her’ to ‘she’s just using him for sex’. He’s not in After the Fire and a lot of readers missed him. One of the problems with writing in the first person is that people tend to assume my opinions match Maeve’s exactly. Maeve wants the whole Rob problem to go away – she doesn’t want to be a victim so she wants to forgive and forget. A handful of readers assumed that meant that I didn’t take the events of The Kill seriously, but I do! I intentionally wrote a set of circumstances where both of them behaved badly, but that doesn’t mean I think Rob should be able to walk back into Maeve’s life too easily. And Derwent agrees with me.

In After the Fire I got to make Derwent and Maeve look and act like a couple without having to commit to a relationship. I think they’re reaching a point where they know each other so well they know more about each other than anyone else does. Neither of them can hide anything from the other one. I’m not sure that’s a great basis for a romantic relationship but it’s a lot of fun to write.


I’m in the undecided about Rob category. I don’t think Maeve is using him. I think it’s more, like many women he is convenient. She does care about him, in her own way. Rob just doesn’t have the star quality of Derwent. I’m liking the fact that Rob is temporarily out of the picture.

The friendship between Maeve and Derwent is fascinating. It definitely keeps us readers on our toes.


The great thing about the Maeve and Derwent dynamic is it is constantly developing and changing – how they react to each other can change in an instant and of course you never know *quite* what Derwent will do. It’s easy to see his unpredictability but Maeve has buckets of that herself. So really anything could happen and when it does it is often hilarious . That scene in the last book with them in the bedroom had me in absolute stitches. AND I was still giggling hours later. Of course that helps when you are reading a novel that also has it’s darker side – because the cases that these guys take on are always dangerous and intriguing.

How do you plot the investigative side Jane? Do you come up with that first and weave our beloved characters into it?

Jane Casey

[I just want to answer Christine first about Rob.] He’s not convenient so much as an equal for her. They spar and no one gets hurt, they understand each other, they do the same type of job and feel about it much the same way. The problem is that Maeve thought he was perfect, and no one is perfect. Maeve actually knows Derwent much better than Rob, because she’s blind to Rob’s faults. She tends to notice Derwent’s. And points them out.

I always have a series arc running in my head – things I want to happen to the regular characters, ways I think they might develop. Readers of the whole series will know there are loose ends from previous books that still haven’t been tied up, but I haven’t forgotten them! I think the characters’ development is what drives the series – people want to know what’s going to happen to them. I do have crimes I want to tackle in books, and sometimes they suggest themselves to suit a particular twist in a character’s life. I try to match them up but not too closely – you can get too heavy-handed with the themes, I think!


I can’t wait to see where you go next with both the crimes and Maeve and Derwent. And I don’t mind a little more Rob. I felt sorry for him, when we last saw him.

That scene in the bedroom in the last book was pure gold. I was laughing too, Liz. I appreciate humour. I don’t think there are enough comic moments in crime and I always love them. I do find the dialogue between Maeve and Derwent hilarious, as well. I don’t know how you get it just spot on. Did you enjoy writing the comic moments, Jane?


Yes! I’d like to know that too – also I’m wondering if we can sneakily get Jane to tell us a bit about what will happen in the next book – feed our addiction for us just a LITTLE bit. Just an iota. **looks hopeful**


Maybe we can bribe her with cake! 😉


Distracted by the word cake I wandered off – sorry, ladies!

The next book is going to be all about a missing woman and why she’s missing and about secrets and lying – you know, the usual… but it’s also about Maeve getting back on track, having had a pretty huge wobble in After the Fire. On paper, she and Derwent are both making huge strides towards normal lives, Maeve in her professional life and Derwent in his personal life. But of course, things don’t always work out for either of them, she said with an evil author chuckle…

Thanks again for letting me ramble on about Maeve and Derwent at such length, both of you!

Find out more here: http://www.maevekerrigan.co.uk/

Follow Jane on Twitter here: https://twitter.com/JaneCaseyAuthor

Purchase information: http://www.amazon.co.uk/Jane-Casey/e/B003VNABHU/ref=dp_byline_cont_book_1

About Northern Crime

Reviewer with a mind of her own. This is a collection of book reviews, which started in 2014. Mostly crime and odd other genres thrown in. Some I loved. Some I loathed. You get the picture.
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2 Responses to A bit of a chat with Jane Casey – part two

  1. FictionFan says:

    I want Rob back!! I’m with Maeve – I think he’s perfect. And really, can anyone visualise Josh as future father material? *shudders*

    Great post!

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