Criminal Consequences As Specsavers Readers Choose The Plot
The game of Consequences – finishing something started by someone else – has long been popular among crime writers. Charles Dickens had, in a way, inspired the idea in another form with books like ‘Mugby Junction’ and ‘The Haunted House’. In these he started off a story and had other writers deliver additional episodes which were slotted in after his, although they were far more episodic by nature.
Then, Agatha Christie and her fellow crime writers in the Detection Club began the game in earnest, with books like ‘The Floating Admiral’ and ‘Ask A Policeman’, in which the writers each took a chapter in a single story. The latter is especially interesting because each author uses another’s detective, so that we get a sort of cross-hatched tale with different sleuths and styles.
Specsavers commissioned me to do something similar for them with ‘The Elimination League’, so I started a story in which a young ex-soldier in Glasgow is sent a credit card which allows him to commission the murder of his unfaithful wife. Myself, James Oswald and Jane Casey have been following your instructions, switching the story in the directions you choose (can’t believe what you did to my main character – thanks a lot for that one!)
Now the story is reaching its climactic moment and I’m once more taking the reins to bring everything together in a (hopefully) satisfying conclusion. It’s been exhausting but a lot of fun, and the finished novella will (I believe) be published by Penguin Random House and Specsavers. Obviously I have my fingers crossed and hope you’ll all do the right thing and choose the right plot line so that I can tidy up the loose ends. Knowing you as I do, you’ll perversely send me down the wrong road and make my job fifty times harder. All the details are here.
Hey, it’s all part of the game. After it’s over I’ll come around your houses and tell you how to do the ironing.