"Some of the most aggressive journalists in the world are based in London. They go to almost any lengths to uncover a scandal about a celebrity or a member of the Royal family using phone taps, bugs, scams and sting operations. The unsuspecting are succoured in, and it makes front-page headlines, with the newspaper proprietors then quietly turning a blind eye to all the illegal activities of their employees.
So it occurred to me that a man like Sir Charles Robertson would attract attention. A billionaire who shuns the limelight may be laying low for a reason. Is it because his road to success has been surrounded by intrigue, corruption and murder?
How come his two old school friends, who'd helped him all along the way to achieve his fortune, Jack Foster and Tommy Anderson, were now both dead? Did they have some dirt on Robertson he didn't want revealed? And what about the unsolved murders of Jeremy Braithwaite and Sebastian Smyth? Robertson purchased Groots & Co from them years ago for a ridiculously low price, and then they both ended up murdered. That was very convenient for Robertson.
And the two Government officials in Western Australia, who initially refused Robertson's mining permit, were both shot in a car park and then, serendipitously, Robertson's mining approval went through.
And what about the two men who were working for a rival South African diamond company who were both killed by a hitman in New York. That was very handy for Robertson. Then all the murders at the Groots store on Fifth Avenue—was it actually somebody getting revenge on Robertson?
Finally, who's ended up with all the accolades and become a billionaire?
It was a story with too many unanswered questions and perfect material for a bloodhound journalist to investigate. After all, everybody has a dark side, don't they?
So, Lynette De Fries—Baker, one of the U.K.'s most prestigious and feared social columnists, interviews Sir Charles Robertson at London's Savoy Hotel about his long journey to become one of Britain and Australia's most successful businessmen.
The basic idea to write An Interview with Sir Charles Robertson came from seeing the interview with Prince Andrew by Emily Maitlis from the BBC in 2019. Maitlis had done her homework, and quietly and professionally shredded Prince Andrew.
Interviews also enable writers to reveal details about a character that cannot easily or naturally be told in a story, so I hope it gives you a bit more insight into Charlie until he reappears again in The Rarest Cut.