Deep in the muddy fields of the Lincolnshire Fens, a teenage girl is found wandering, delirious, claiming to have been drugged at a party. Metres away, the drowned body of another girl is found on an isolated beach. And all this on a small stretch of land where, nearly 10 years ago, the shocking disappearance of a young girl remains an open case…
For DI Rowan Jackman and DS Marie Evans, the pressure is on to bring the perpetrators of these shocking crimes to justice. Are the crimes linked? Who are these young girls? And what on earth is going on under the green and pastured land of the Lincolnshire Fens?
“It’s a crime drama, which I haven’t tackled before,” Armitage told Digital Spy.
“It’s in the vein of the kind of crime drama that we see on [British] television quite a lot – something like Whitechapel – but it also has a little bit of a Scandinavian feel to it, just because of the bleakness of the location.
“I like the place that it’s set, in the Fens of Lincolnshire. I think it was a really brilliant place to set a story like this and it’s very familiar for the author Joy Ellis who comes from that part of the world, so she knows it very well.”
Armitage revealed that Their Lost Daughters, one of a series of books featuring the characters Jackman and Evans, goes to some “very dark places” – appealing to the actor’s own long-held interest in crime fiction.
“I do remember when I was a lot younger there was a murder in our village and a couple of years later some real-life crime literature came about, adapting the true-life crime into a fictional situation,” he recalled. “Names were changed, but it was very much based on what had happened in our village and I went through a period of time of being really fascinated with it.”
Though recording an audiobook has different demands, with often little time for prep, Armitage insisted that Ellis’s writing on Their Lost Daughters made it easy to get a handle on the story and characters.
Above: Their Lost Daughters author Joy Ellis
“I read the book once, for myself, for my own pleasure, and then I let it sit with me for a while and then I go back in and mark up the scripts, pulling out each individual character and deciding on a voice for them…
“But I like to trust my instincts. Often it’s your first impression of a character that will decide what voice they are, and the sign of a good writer is somebody that immediately gives you an insight into what they look like, what they sound like and what background they come from.
“That was not difficult with Joy’s work at all. She immediately lets you know who they are, where they’re from and what kind of person they are.”
The new audiobook version of Their Lost Daughters by Joy Ellis is out June 14 and available to pre-order now.