Between the two of them, it’s pretty clear that Winnie is more of a badass than Riordan. In fact, at one point he says, “I wasn’t used to a woman being more macho than me, and I certainly wasn’t used to thinking of myself as the levelheaded one.” How would you characterize the dynamic between the two of them?
At the beginning, at least, she is clearly the bad cop and he the good.
I think of Winnie as being somewhat like the Linda Hamilton character in the Terminator movies. Both women have had their eyes opened to a threat that others don’t recognize in very violent and traumatic ways. Rather than buckling, they have toughened themselves mentally and physically to meet the threat.
Part of the dynamic between Riordan and Winnie is due to the fact that he doesn’t yet understand the threat as well she does, nor has he personally suffered the losses she has. Part of it is simply that his worldview is more nuanced, more tolerant of moral ambiguity and shades of gray.
One thing I hope the reader will find interesting is how they affect one another throughout the course of the book, both in terms of outlook and their feelings for each other.
Read the whole interview here.