Q&A with Edwin Hill

By Edwin Hill

If you were to describe your book as a mashup of two other books currently on the market, what would they be?

Oh, I love this kind of question! I’ll cheat a little and choose one novel and one TV show. For the novel, I’ll go with Shari Lapena’s Not a Happy Family, which I loved for the way she twisted the plot in such knots, and they unraveled those seemingly unrelated incidents and made them connect in such a satisfying way. Shari’s novels tend to be domestic and set in the suburbs, just like The Secrets We Share. For the TV show, I’ll choose Mare of East Town. This show was also delightfully twisty (episode 5 ends with the kind of reversal writers dream of concocting!), but it also brought a grittiness to the story that I try to infuse my work with, too. Like Mare, the main character in my novel, Natalie Cavanaugh, is a detective with plenty of problems on the home front. And like Mare, Natalie doesn’t always make the best choices when it comes to resolving those problems.

What do you need to create the perfect writing environment?

An endless cup of coffee and some quiet. I get up at 4 a.m. most mornings to get my writing done before the weight of the world descends on me!

Describe the main character of The Secrets We Share in 5 words.

Natalie Cavanaugh is dedicated, conflicted, loyal, angry, and loving.

Name 3 things that inspired The Secrets We Share.

Oh, this book was a tough one to write – I wrote it during the pandemic, and who could concentrate during the pandemic – but there were three inspirations that helped me get over the finish line. 1) I drove by an abandoned factory across the street from a school. That abandoned factory shows up at the very beginning of the novel and became central to the plot; 2) I read about embezzlement schemes involving neighborhood soccer clubs. You’d never guess how much money can go into running these clubs – or how much money can be stolen; and 3) I love the smell of Chapstick… and that’s all I’m saying about that one.

If your bookturned into a film or TV series, who would you want to play Hester Thursby?

The Secrets We Share isn’t officially a Hester Thursby novel, though she does have a supporting role, and she’s the character I get asked about most often when it comes to casting. I would go with Claudia Jesse who plays Eloise on Bridgerton. She gives off the brainy vibe I would want for Hester. And she has the right look, too.

You’re at a local coffee shop. What’s your go-to drink order?

I drink so much coffee that I have to keep it simple: straight, sometimes with a dash of milk. During the holidays, I allow myself one peppermint mocha, and I look forward to it all year long!

What are you currently reading?

I just finished a terrific new mystery by Tessa Wegert called Devils at the Door. This series is set in the Thousand Lakes region of upstate New York. The main character is a detective named Shana Merchant, whose cousin and close friend turned out to be a serial killer. It’s really good.

You can only read one genre for the rest of your life. Which do you choose?

Definitely crime fiction. I love mysteries and thrillers.

If the main character of Natalie Cavanaugh was stranded on a desert island, what 3 items would she bring?

I fear that Natalie would bring her beloved handle of vodka. She’d also bring the notes on her latest case, because she’s dedicated to her work, and a photo of her niece Mavis, who she loves dearly.

If you could switch places with any character in The Secrets We Share, who would it be?

I tend to put my characters through the wringer, so I probably would opt out of this opportunity!

Describe your next project in 3 words.

I’d describe my next novel, a standalone thriller called Who to Believe, as a (1) devilishly (2) clever (3) delight, which is how Kirkus described it in their recent starred review.

If you could grab dinner with any character from Who to Believe, who would it be?

I would love to have dinner with Angela White, a detective who’s appeared in each of my novels so far. Angela’s down to earth and easy to talk to. She also loves pizza as much as I do. Plus, I always like an opportunity to speak to someone in law enforcement, especially when I’m doing research for a new novel!

Two sisters, one long-ago murder, and a web of terrifying secrets collide in this gripping domestic suspense from acclaimed author Edwin Hill. Perfect for fans of Megan Miranda, Shari Lapena, Greer Hendricks, Alafair Burke, Karin Slaughter, and Charlie Donlea!