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Behind the Scenes - Exploring the background to characters, scenes and storylines…
Detective Chief Inspector James Carrick
Until relatively recently Carrick had thought that his father, a distant cousin of the then Earl of Carrick, was dead. His unmarried mother, Orla, had refused to talk about him as she felt betrayed by the man who had left her to fend for herself and her baby, only saying that he had eventually died in an accident at sea. James had assumed this to have been a fishing boat. Not so, it had been a racing yacht belonging to the earl and James’s father, on holiday, had been knocked overboard by the boom.
Robert Kennedy had not died. He had been washed up, more dead than alive, on a sparsely inhabited island and nursed back to a state where he could continue with his recovery elsewhere by a sympathetic crofter and his wife. He had then chosen to disappear from public view, the main reason for this being his job in an undercover police unit in London. Also, it had taken him a long time to regain full health and he had no idea he had a son.
Carrick then – his mother had chosen to change her name to that in defiance – was brought up mostly in Crieff where they went to live with an aunt, Orla’s parents, very strict Church of Scotland elders, having made life impossible for them at home. Later they moved to England where the young James did well at school and then set his sights on becoming a sports teacher. Very quickly becoming bored with that he joined the Metropolitan Police, serving, before getting married to Kathleen, in the Vice Squad. Later, he was able to get a transfer to the Avon and Somerset force, the reason for this being that his young wife was now suffering from a rare form of bone cancer and he wanted to get her out of the capital into the fresh air of the countryside.
Eventually, Kathleen died, leaving her husband desperately unhappy and relying more and more at work on his sergeant, Joanna Mackenzie. They began an affair, this before Kathleen passed away, she having said to him that she would understand if he did as her condition made it impossibly painful for her to make love. The Superintendant found out what was happening and, hating women on the job full stop, made sure that Joanna was transferred to a dead-end posting. She resigned (and it must be said here that I’m assured that this would not happen now.)
Eventually, Carrick did discover that his father was alive. Kennedy retired and, true to his reticent nature, is now living quietly somewhere in London, visited occasionally by his son. Old wounds take a long time to heal.
Joanna and Carrick eventually got married and have a little daughter, Iona Flora, who is cared for by a nanny as Joanna is going through her final training to rejoin the police.
December 10th, 2016
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