Luminaries including Jeffery Deaver, Kathy Reichs and Faye Kellerman have contributed to No Rest for the Dead
by: Alison Flood
British crime author Peter James, chair of the UK's Crime Writers' Association, contributed a crucial chapter to the novel, in which a decade-old diary is discovered, providing vital clues. "The hard thing was not knowing what any of the characters were like – none of us saw what the others had written," said James. "I'm a very detailed plotter. A big part of my writing technique is seeding things into each chapter, and it was hard to not have that flexibility – I was writing it in a complete void. In a way it was harder than I thought, but in a way it was liberating."
Provided with just the outlines of his scene, James compared the experience to a paint-by-numbers painting, as well as to the parlour game of consequences, in which a story is created word by word by a group of people. "It's amazing though – it actually works," he said. "It shows most thriller writers think in a similar, Machiavellian way."
The novel, which is published by Simon & Schuster, is the brainchild of Andrew Gulli, editor of US crime fiction specialist Strand Magazine, who said it was the first time so many major bestselling authors have been involved in a single project. Gulli edited the book with his sister Lamia, and has also contributed several chapters to the novel. The siblings will donate all their proceeds to the Leukaemia and Lymphoma Society.