Without Blood was published in French in 2010. Obviously, this book was all about the birth of Victor Lessard, but I didn’t know it initially...
As I started writing the first chapters, the story revolved more around Simone’s character and the surreal nature of certain aspects of her journey.
Then, what was supposed to be a simple patrol officer dispatched to investigate the hit and run that Simone was victim of, quickly became who you now know to be sergeant-detective Victor Lessard, a character that came with sufficient personal damage and empathy for Simone.
I quickly realized the potential of Victor’s character and developed him further until I knew his past as well as mine. I began rewriting the novel to incorporate his humble debut entry in Chapter 3.
Our main protagonist would initially appear low-key and in emotional crisis, forced to slowly rebuild himself throughout the series. Readers would learn how his emotions torment him over the death of two of his men from a previous operation. They would discover even more of his past as he reflects on his lost love and his feelings of guilt for not being the father that he would like to be. I allude to a dark event from his past in this novel, purposely leaving it to be unveiled in future books in the series.
In essence, halfway through Without Blood, I knew Victor Lessard would accompany this story for longer than initially anticipated. It became important that I made sure that, as a police detective, he was never contaminated by the surreal aspects of Simone’s journey.
As I finished the book, another character emerged strongly: Victor’s ex-partner at Major Crimes and his best friend, Jacinthe Taillon, who believes Victor is to blame for the fatal operation and now hates him. Jacinthe, too, rapidly became a true, rich, and complex character both with regard to his relationship with Victor and in his own right.
By the time the book was in print, I knew that Victor and Jacinthe would collide against each other in the next novel. And that they would become partners again in the third. That was the initial impulse. What would happen beyond that, I knew little and would discover along the way.
I am currently writing the sixth book in the series and, more than ever, it is the relationship between Victor and Jacinthe, how they continue to grow together through difficult moments, that keeps it close to my heart.
To an extent, I sometimes wonder if Victor is my shadow or the reverse.
I hope you enjoy your time with Without Blood. Thank you for reading.