Cooper had her tongue firmly in cheek when she wrote Festering Lilies, the first of her light-hearted novels featuring dowdy, acerbic civil servant Willow King, who has a secret double-life as a glamorous romantic novelist. Playing with themes of identity and concealment, Cooper shows Willow despised in both guises by those stupid enough to judge only by appearance.
Threaded through the mysteries are darker themes such as the misuse of power, both personal and official. In more recent books, the frivolity is becoming less important than Cooper’s interest in the forces that can impel an individual to cross the line that divides fantasies of revenge from actual violence.
Her latest novel, Creeping Ivy (to be published in July), is a new departure, featuring the sparky, angsty barrister Trish Maguire in a serious case involving the disappearance of a young child.
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