The Wrong Sort of Shoes doesn’t have any special inspiration or origin. I just had the idea of Jack living the thoughts of a serial killer in some way, and then actually handing himself into the police because he wasn’t sure what was real and what wasn’t. The first part of the story with the attack on the woman was relatively simple to write. So was the second part with Jack in custody and Martha and DCI Swanson trying to work out what was going on. There was never going to be any question that Jack was guilty of such a nasty crime as murder-rape. The forensic evidence would be utterly incontrovertible. There is a very slight problem in that only a few hours passed between the murder and Jack being released into Martha’s custody. I’m really not sure how long it would take to process the sort of evidence that would exonerate him – semen traces, blood, fingerprints, fibres, etc. I’m not sure even on programmes like CSI it happens that fast. How well equipped Cardiff police are to do fast forensic work, but I think it’s pushing it a bit.
The point is, I really wanted this story to take place in a single night, mainly because I didn’t want Jack to have this hanging over his head when he went home to Garrett and Gray. It would eat into him and spoil the cosy domestic life he had become used to with them. Yes, ok, I’m soft. I am sure Russell T. Davies wouldn’t think twice about killing off both of them and making Jack miserable. But I’m nicer to him.
Location - Leckwith Woods from Penarth Moors
The explanation that the Vortex Manipulator is causing him to experience the thoughts and actions of the serial killer, even when he was taking a shower in the Hub is possibly a little bit implausible. But it’s science fiction. It’s meant to be implausible.
Location - Entrance to Sophia Gardens
Locations in this story are mostly real places in the city centre. I kept the first location vague, somewhere off St. Mary's Street, close to the clubbing district. The multi-storey car park near the railway station is maybe a ten minute walk away for a fit man like Jack, but still provides something of an alibi. Leckwith Woods is a bit further away. The killer would have needed a vehicle to get there. Leckwith has come up before in these stories. The new retail estate and Cardiff City's new football ground were mentioned in Nathan Edwards, and the bypass comes up in passing frequently.
Location - Sophia Gardens
The Sophia Gardens is a more specific place. It is north of Castle Street, on the other side of the river to the Castle itself, and is more or less a ribbon of green space by the river. It is a nice place, and no more dangerous for women walking alone than anywhere else is after dark. Don't anyone get the wrong idea about it from this story.
Location - Gardens and river with city of Cardiff
Readers have commented that this is a dark story, with the serial murder-rapes coming across as quite chilling. That proves that something worked in this story, at least. Whether it is enough to compensate for a couple of weak parts of the plot, I’m not sure.