The Next Chapter

Real secrets and lies spurred Roz Nay to write the psychological thriller Hurry Home

The B.C. thriller writer is the author of novel Hurry Home.
Hurry Home is a thriller by Roz Nay. (Simon & Schuster Canada, Lisa Seyfried Photography)

This segment originally aired on Oct 24, 2020.

Roz Nay is an author from B.C. Her first novel, Our Little Secret, won the Douglas Kennedy Prize for best foreign thriller, and was nominated for the Kobo Emerging Writer Prize for Mystery and the Arthur Ellis Best First Novel Award.

Her sophomore thriller is Hurry Home, which tells the story of Alexandra Van Ness, who lives a perfect life tucked away in a resort town with her boyfriend. She works in child protection, dedicating herself to helping those at risk. But when her long-lost sister turns up, Alexandra is forced to confront the memories of their fraught past. 

Nay spoke with The Next Chapter about Hurry Home. 

Who to believe

"The sisters's relationship within the book is interesting and complex. You get a sense of what might have happened to them in the past, but obviously that isn't revealed straight away. It comes through in fragments.

"As you move through the book, you, as a reader, are toyed with slightly in terms of what do you want to believe? 

"We have Alex, who's the child protection social worker. She's got her life together. She's moving through the world, trying to help people. Then there's Ruth, who shows up knocking on the door, quite dishevelled, pregnant and hiding something very bad.

The sisters's relationship within the book is quite interesting and complex.

"The very presence of her threatens to unravel everything that Alex has built."

Hidden secrets

"The inspiration came from my day job because I work still in child protection as a social worker assistant. I live in this idyllic little mountain town and know about all the worst stories in it, the underbelly. That interests me, that you can have a very picturesque place that has another angle that's a bit more secretive. 

"Secrets from the past — the thing that the sisters are hiding — is a real thing that I know about from my childhood when I used to spend summers at my granddad's farm up in Scotland.

I live in this idyllic little mountain town and know about all the worst stories in it, the underbelly.

"Something very bad happened. Not to me, but I knew about it. And it has stood it in my 10-year-old brain all this time and I have used it for this book."

Roz Nay's comments have been edited for length and clarity. 

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