Friday, 18 October 2019 Author Les Cowan: "I'm asking a question of the reader... Do you care enough to take a risk?"

Blog | Author Interviews

Sins of the Fathers is the third instalment in The World of David Hidalgo, a series about the church pastor who can’t help but get embroiled in controversy, mystery, and issues of morality. This time, David finds himself face to face with a Spanish priest bent on revenge for his years spent in prison.

I caught up with the author, Les Cowan, to talk about the ideas behind David Hidalgo and some of the themes he hopes to shed light on through the novels.

“The fact that David Hidalgo is a pastor not a policemen is key to both his character and to what I wanted to do in the series. Taking him outside of all of the professional crime roles makes him more of an ‘everyman’ – like you and I. However, at the same time, his job points to a very strong moral compass.

“David keeps having the bad luck to encounter serious criminal issues, but since it isn’t really his job, he could simply ignore them or pass them on and forget about them. But his strong moral sense won’t allow him to do that.

“In this I think I’m asking a question of the reader. What would you do? Do you care enough to become involved and take a risk to put right something that’s wrong? What personal cost are you willing to pay to see justice done and help those in trouble? Maybe it’s not just a job for the police, but in fact for each and every one of us.”

Last year, Les told us that writing a character like David Hidalgo allows him to meditate on issues of faith, morality, and doubt. With Sins of the Fathers he hopes to challenge his readers to do the same.

“The main job of any good novel is of course to tell a good story with authentic, interesting characters. That said, 100,000 words gives us space to think about some deeper things. Every good book is also essentially about the same thing – what it’s like to be human. In this I hope David Hidalgo goes a bit beyond the standard whodunnits of crime.

“David’s faith is constantly challenged and gives him no option but to confront reality and ask awkward questions. Real life does that to us. You don’t have to be alive for very long to realise that easy answers are a bit thin on the ground.

“We might know quite a lot of the what, the how and the where, but as to why things happen as they do – this is maybe even more of a problem for those with faith. So one way I try to work things out is to raise these questions both for myself and for the reader. Then we each have to come to our own conclusions!”

Buy Sins of the Fathers here, and catch up on the rest of the series by taking a look at Benefit of the Doubt and All That Glitters. Les Cowan’s World of David Hidalgo website is also a great resource if you want to learn more about the series, the author and the characters he has created.