For the second week of my ‘Meet the Characters’ blog we’re doing an interview with a villain! If you’ve read Ann Evans’ gripping crime thriller, Kill or Die, you’ll have met Vincent Webb. But don’t let the good looks and smooth tongue fool you. He’s devious, heartless and totally without a conscience. He’s also a very dangerous man – as wife and mother Julia Logan discovered after their paths crossed. Vincent Webb also has a very high opinion of himself, so when we asked him if he’d be willing to be interviewed for this blog, he jumped at the opportunity. In his eyes, the world should know and love Vincent – even his victims.
Here’s the blurb from the book so you can get the gist of the story.
A vicious burglary goes horribly wrong when an elderly victim is killed and one of the burglars is injured.
In the detached house next door, Julia is preparing to leave her husband. He has let her down for the last time and her bags are packed. Taking their eight-year-old daughter, Lucy, from her bed they set off in the fog.
But on this cold, dark night, fate steps in and these strangers collide.
When Vincent and Nash abduct the mother and daughter, and take them to a derelict house, the situation takes a grave turn.
Meanwhile, Julia’s husband, Ian, is distraught that his wife and daughter have left, and when the murder and burglary are discovered, suspicion falls on him.
For Ian, Julia and Lucy, life is about to become a nightmare.
Can Julia and Lucy escape from the twisted criminals?
What will Julia decide when the choice is – kill or die?
Now over to Vincent, who’s eagerly waiting for his interview. So, Vincent, what sort of background do you come from?
Vincent: You can probably tell by the voice, that I’m from a well-educated family. Dad, Malcolm is a brilliant businessman. He owns a few casinos in London and a gastro pub in Birmingham. That man knows how to turn a profit – you don’t want to cross him through! Mum, well, she naturally dotes on me – which is understandable. (He smiles, looking at me to see if I’m under his spell yet. It actually leaves me shuddering, and I feel for poor Julia and her daughter. What they went through must have been terrifying.)
Did you follow your father into the family business?
Vincent: No, it wasn’t for me. I tried it, but who wants to be tie down to those hours and being accountable to anyone? No, I walked away from all that, decided to make my own way in life. It devastated mum, I think she wanted me to settle down, get married, give her grandchildren. (He runs his fingers through his blond hair and I notice how blue his eyes are.) Why tie yourself down to one woman, when there’s so many just ripe for the picking?
So, how do you make your living, Vincent? The way you dress indicates you’re a successful man. (His long black leather coat is the best Italian leather, I notice)
Vincent: Antiques, that’s my line. I buy and sell. Fact is, I’m visiting an antiques collector this evening. Looking forward to it.
And do you work alone?
Vincent: No, generally I work with an old friend by the name of Nash. Now, should you meet him, don’t be put off by his appearance. He isn’t the prettiest of guys. Got himself into a bit of trouble in the past and has the scars to prove it. Luckily for him, I’ve taken him under my wing, and we have a neat little partnership. Let’s say I’m the brains, he’s the brawn.
Are you an ambitious man, Vincent? What’s your dream?
Vincent: Absolutely driven! I’m aiming to have a bigger house, bigger car and more money in the bank than my dad has, that’s for sure – and before I get anywhere near his age. (he smiles again) I have plans.
What’s your biggest fear, Vincent.
Vincent: That I’ll get caught! (he laughs) No, joking apart, I’m not really afraid of anything. Losing my looks wouldn’t be good, I suppose. I look at Nash, my partner in crime – so to speak, and thank my lucky stars I’ve been born this way – and managed to stay looking good.
How do you spend your spare time?
Vincent: (He gives me a long sultry look and raises one eyebrow) Maybe you’d like to find out. (he laughs) Just joking. I like to study the antiques business, I go to antiques fairs, chat to the collectors, see what’s what. And I like to read, crime novels mostly. I’ll probably write one myself one of these days rather than just appearing in one.
And do you envisage a happy ending?
Vincent: Absolutely! For me anyway!
I thanked Vincent for his time, and made a sharp exit. I had to finish Kill or Die, to find out exactly what did become of him, and whether he got that happy ending he was hoping for.
Here’s a short extract from Kill or Die.
The car’s headlights came out of nowhere, as Julia pulled out of her drive. She instinctively tried to swerve, but there was no avoiding the impact. It was slight, a faint tinkling of glass breaking – a sidelight or indicator light. In the back, Lucy buckled into her seat, cried out in fright.
Through the fog, Julia distinctively saw the driver brace his arms against the steering wheel, but his passenger shot forward, cracking his head against the windscreen so hard a circular cobweb effect of blood-smeared shattered glass instantly appeared, before he ricocheted back into his seat.
“God! That must have hurt. Stay here, Lucy. He might need an ambulance.”
She got out, heart thumping, and dashed to the other car’s passenger door. She was aware of the driver getting out, and walking around the back of his car towards her. He was tall, taller than Ian, and he was five eleven. This man was broad shouldered, too, and dressed all in black, like a large shadow she was only barely aware off, as she focussed on the passenger. He didn’t seem to have moved since ricocheting back into his seat. She hoped to God he wasn’t seriously injured.
“Shall I call an ambulance? I think your passenger is hu…”
Her question was left hanging in the air, as Julia realised she couldn’t make out the driver’s face, because he was wearing a woollen balaclava. Something stirred in the pit of her stomach. A slight warning. She ignored it. It was a horrible night. Why wouldn’t someone wear a balaclava? What mattered was the passenger wasn’t moving. Was he unconscious? Dead? God, she hoped not.
She went to open the passenger door when an arm, clad in black leather, was thrust in front of her, shoving her hand aside, and yanking open the passenger door. The thick smell of leather filled her senses, as he crowded over her.
“He couldn’t have been wearing his seat belt…” she tried to say, but then the driver spoke.
“Nash, get your arse out of there.”
Julia shot the man a sharp look, thinking how awful to snap out an order to someone who’d hit their head against a windscreen. Through the slit in the balaclava, his pale blue eyes were luminous – and cold.
The passenger looked to be in his mid-twenties, and horribly disfigured on one side of his face. He groaned, and slumped forward, his head almost in his lap.
“He needs help. My mobile’s in my bag. I’ll…” A leather gloved hand clamped suddenly and roughly around her mouth and nose, and she felt the terrifying feeling of suffocation. Frantically, she struggled against him, writhing, twisting, trying to kick back at his legs to scrape her heels down his shins. Desperately aware she couldn’t breathe, she clawed at his hand, but she was being lifted bodily off the ground, and carried back to her own car. He bundled her into her driving seat.
“Shut it! One sound, and the kid dies, understand?” His eyes locked onto hers, glittering with menace.
If you’re dying to find out what happens next, you can buy the book here:
Ann Evans was born and bred in Coventry, and started writing just for fun after giving up her secretarial job to have her three children.
Having caught the writing ‘bug’ there was no stopping her, and as her children grew up, she continued to write for a variety of genres, from compiling and editing her parish magazine, to writing school pantomimes. She then got a job at her local newspaper, sneaking in through the back door, as she puts it, to become a staff feature writer.
She is now a full time freelance writer, writing magazine articles on a wide range of topics, plus writing adventure and mystery for children, young adults, reluctant readers, romance and adult crime. To date she has 30 books to her name and more in the pipeline.
She is a member of the Romantic Novelists’ Association, The Society of Women Writers and Journalists, The Crime Writers’ Association, the National Association of Writers in Education and the Coventry Writers’ Group. She is also a Patron of Reading for a Coventry senior school.
You can contact Ann here:
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