Some secrets were meant to stay hidden… Trust no-one
After an operation goes badly wrong, undercover specialist Detective Caelan Small leaves the Metropolitan Police for good. Or so she thinks. Then the criminal responsible is seen back in the UK.
Soon Caelan is drawn back into a dangerous investigation. But when the main lead is suddenly murdered, all bets are off. Nothing is as it seems. Everyone is a suspect – even close colleagues.
Someone in the Met is involved and Caelan is being told to Ask No Questions.
This isn’t an option: Caelan needs answers… whatever the cost.
10 Random Things About Ask No Questions
1) The book’s main character is Detective Caelan Small.
I first heard the name when I met someone called Caelan when doing some voluntary work a few years ago. When I began to think about who the main character for my new series should be, the name came into my head and seemed to suit her.
2) Caelan was a police officer, specialising in undercover operations.
At the beginning of the book she has resigned from the Metropolitan Police, though she’s soon offered an opportunity and has to decide whether to be drawn back into a world she thought she had turned her back on.
3) The book is mainly set in London.
Most of the locations used in Ask No Questions are real. Ideally, I would have visited each location, wandered around, made the journeys Caelan takes myself. That wasn’t possible, so I made good use of Google maps, the Transport for London website, and many more. Hopefully I’ve been fairly accurate!
4) One of the characters has a hotel room booked in the name of ‘Lysander’.
Lysanders were aircraft used during World War Two. Initially they were deployed as spotters and light bombers, but they were very vulnerable and were withdrawn from those duties. Soon, they were being used by the Special Operations Executive (SOE) to drop off and collect agents in occupied France because they could land and take off discreetly, in fields where they wouldn’t be noticed. I thought borrowing the name of aircraft used in clandestine missions as a codename would appeal to some of Caelan’s colleagues, since they’re all involved in undercover operations too.
5) In the first few pages of the book, Caelan has a conversation about snow with an Egyptian waiter. This really happened.
Only he was talking to my partner and me. Funny how the UK has a reputation for being cold and rainy …
6) Caelan follows another character to a restaurant near King’s Cross station.
I wrote this scene after my first meeting with Michael Bhaskar, Canelo’s Publishing Director. We’d had a lovely chat, and I was feeling so positive about working with Canelo that somehow that afternoon sneaked into the book. You could probably even find the restaurant the fictional place is based on if you followed in Caelan’s footsteps.
7) The city of Lincoln makes a brief appearance.
I love Lincoln, and when I needed a city with a university, it was my first choice. I’m much more familiar with it than I am London, though we don’t see any my favourite landmarks (the cathedral, the castle, the area around Steep Hill) in any detail. Maybe next time …
8) One of the characters is an accountancy student.
Caelan is concerned she might be expected to join his class, and I can sympathise. I have a degree in English, but ended up, after several other jobs, working in accounting. I now write full-time, but there’s usually an accountant in my books somewhere.
9) Caelan’s apartment building is based on a real one.
I’m from Yorkshire, and the cost of buying or renting one of the apartments took my breath away.
10) The ending took me by surprise.
I don’t really plot, so things that happen in my books are usually as unexpected to me as they (hopefully!) will be to the reader.
About the Author
Lisa Hartley lives with her partner, son, two dogs and several cats. She graduated with a BA (Hons) in English Studies, then had a variety of jobs but kept writing in her spare time. In addition to this new series with Canelo she is also working on the next DS Catherine Bishop novel.