Cristelle Comby will be awarding all four books of the series, signed by the author (International Giveaway) to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.
This is the fourth book in your ongoing series, the Neve & Egan cases, can you tell us how it fits in the series? Can it be read as a stand-alone?
Technically yes, it can. There’s some back-story in there, enough so that new readers should be able to understand what happened before and not be… lost. That being said, I’d strongly advise people to read the other books, especially book 3, Danse Macabre. That one ended on a huge cliff-hanger and the fourth book, Blind Chess, picks up right after that.
Blind Chess is perhaps the most important book in the series so far. It has the big reveal of who the bad guy is. It’s the resolution of a large story-arc that started in book one, Russian Dolls.
In this book, you’ve switched narrators. Can you explain this choice?
Blind Chess is the book I’d been looking forward to writing for two years now. I knew it was coming, I’d been working towards that. I wanted to place Egan in that situation where he is on his own and he has to investigate alone. It wouldn’t have worked earlier on, he wouldn’t have had the motivation for it. Now, he’s really attached to Neve and he wants to get the man who hurt her. No matter the cost, he’ll get there.
How challenging was it to write from a blind person’s POV?
It was a challenge — more than I would have thought actually. It’s crazy how much we writers rely on sight. When you write a book, it’s all about creating atmosphere, setting the mood… and a heavy chunk of that is done with visual descriptions. It’s hard to be forced to do without it. It forces you to really be creative.
I “wrote” a lot of the book with my eyes closed actually. I’d stand in the dark, close my eyes and try to perceive the world through Egan’s eyes. Then I’d dictate the story and type it down later.
To get the feelings right, I closed my eyes in the middle of a crowd a few times. I’ve done that once in the London Tube, at rush hour. It felt like I was part of a bank of fishes, all swimming in the same direction. One giant body made out of numerous individual parts. I followed the current, let the crowd carry me. It was a strange, surreal moment for me.
When can we expect book five?
Not anytime soon, I’m sorry. I’m taking a little break from the Neve & Egan cases. It’s all I’ve been doing for the past three or four years and I’d love to try something new.
I’m working on another series at the moment, in a new genre, Urban Fantasy, with a side of Greek mythology. It’s something darker than the Neve & Egan cases and I’m having a blast writing it. I hope to finish the first draft by spring 2016 and release the book by the end of the year.
That doesn’t mean the death of Neve & Egan though. I love these two and I’ll definitely come back to them. I have ideas for more books. I’m just giving them a holiday; I think they’ve earned it after what I put them through.
by Cristelle Comby
GENRE: Mystery & Detectives
It is supposed to be Neve and Egan. Two partners, a team. What happens when a member of this team of Private Investigators is shot, prognosis unknown?
As Alexandra Neve lays comatose and defenceless, Ashford Egan must take on their enemy alone, and find the cagiest criminal Scotland Yard has seen in decades. Determined to succeed, Egan will stop at nothing. He’ll hit on married women, plant bugs, hire hitmen. And he’ll do it all blind, which makes things ten times as difficult.
Double-crossed by friends, convinced there is corruption in those sworn to uphold the law, Egan is forced to form unlikely alliances as he moves forward in a game that requires skills, nerves of steel, and a willingness to play against all odds.
There is something Dimitri isn’t telling me. It is there in his voice. Hidden behind the words, behind the constructs he is trying to project. He isn’t being honest, I am convinced of it. He has the means to get in touch with The Sorter, if he so wants, but that service won’t come for free.
‘You’re a merchant,’ I say.
‘Da,’ he replies. ‘I am.’
‘And you accept all kinds of currencies?’
‘Well,’ I sigh, ‘what will it cost me?’
Dimitri chuckles again. There is a dark sincerity to the sound. ‘I like you, Ashford,’ he says. ‘I have always liked you. You’re blind, but you see more than most. You understand how life works and you accept it. You’re not of my world, but you fit right in.’
I grit my teeth in reply, waiting for the penny to drop.
I hear Dimitri snap his fingers and then footsteps coming closer—a man, judging by the sounds, tall and a little on the heavy side, according to his stride and the echo his boots make on the tiled floor.
‘Sir?’ the newcomer says. He sounds younger than Dimitri, closer to Lexa’s age, I would guess, and eager to please.
Dimitri addresses him in his mother tongue.
‘Yes, sir,’ the newcomer replies before turning on his heel and walking away at a brisk pace.
‘There is a certain something you could help me with,’ Dimitri tells me.
‘Anything,’ I say.
‘A man I have been doing business with has… how would you say… played me.’ He spits the words out as if they are distasteful. ‘He’s been missing since Monday.’
‘What did he do?’ I ask.
‘He ran away with my money.’
‘And I can’t find him. He’s hiding, but his wife is still in town.’
‘And you think she knows where to find him?’ I ask, guessing what I am being “hired” for.
‘Maybe, maybe not. Alas, she has connections and I have to be careful.’
‘Connections?’ I ask.
‘Her sister is police.’ Again he says the word as if it leaves a bitter taste in his mouth. ‘My men are keeping an eye on her, making sure the husband doesn’t come for a visit, but that’s all we can do. We can’t be seen. I don’t want the cops to get near me. They are like bloodhounds once they have your scent.’
‘But,’ I say, ‘if someone who isn’t part of your organisation were to do the job and get caught by the dogs… it wouldn’t inconvenience you too much, would it?’
I can hear the smile in Dimitri’s reply. ‘No, it would not.’
Cristelle Comby was born and raised in the French-speaking area of Switzerland, in Greater Geneva, where she still resides.
Thanks to her insatiable thirst for American and British action films and television dramas, her English is fluent.
She attributes to her origins her ever-peaceful nature and her undying love for chocolate. She has a passion for art, which also includes an interest in drawing and acting.
Blind Chess is her fourth new-adult novel in the Neve & Egan series.