1) Who are you and what have you written?
I’m a crime fighter turned crime writer. My background is as a Scotland Yard investigator with twenty years’ policing experience – specialising in terrorism and organised crime. I’m the author of a detective thriller series based on real events and I love to chat to readers on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
In The Theseus Paradox, DI Jake Flannagan’s girlfriend, Claire, goes missing as he investigates the truth behind the London 7/7 bombings. What if the attacks were the greatest criminal deception of our time?
Claire returns in sequel, The Detriment, as a blazing Jeep is driven into Glasgow airport and Jake begins to unravel a real-life enigma that threatens to destroy their relationship.
Why did Claire really go missing? And is she telling the truth about her sudden and mysterious disappearance?
Intrigue, lies and fear of the unknown – sometimes the answer is much closer to home…
My thrillers are perfect for readers who like their crime thrillers as close to real crime as it comes. How much is fact and how much is fiction, only you can decide!
2) Why do you write crime fiction?
I went out to work one day and came home two weeks later wearing the same clothes and with fifty-six people dead. As a lead investigator on the London 7/7 bombings intelligence cell, I always felt that I had a story that needed to be told. Despite years and year of painstaking work and a coroner’s inquest, we only ever scratched the surface of what went on.
The Official Secrets Act prevents me from writing an autobiographical, non-fiction account, so I now write crime thrillers under my slogan: I can’t tell you the truth, but I can tell you a story…™
3) What informs your crime writing?
I investigated terrorism and organised crime for much of my career and worked on many infamous investigations that you will have seen on the news. I use real life to inform my writing and real cases that I’ve been involved with at some level.
What has always fascinated me about criminals is not so much how they do things, but why? What motivates someone to go out and kill someone else, to turn to a life of lies and prostitution, or to proudly become a gangster? The line between right and wrong is often blurred when we start to understand what motivates and drives people’s behaviour.
I come from a police family where crime was talked about every night over dinner. It’s in my DNA. I want to show how police families cope with loved ones who work in the job, and how the demands of the role impact on family life, mental wellbeing and other relationships.
This is one of the reasons that sales and downloads of my books have been supporting the charity work of The Police Dependants’ Trust – to help officers and their families following traumatic events.
4) What’s your usual writing routine?
I want to give the reader an insider’s point of view, a different angle on what they thought they knew about events. I will spend a long time researching, interviewing, re-examining and collecting the evidence that I need to construct and illustrate my story, much like putting a police case together.
Once I have that down, I write when and where I can.
In addition to life as an author, I also commentate on crime, policing and terrorism for the news media – and I work across London in the security consultancy sector. This means you might find me furiously scribbling a new scene sitting in the car before a meeting – or whilst waiting to go on air in the BBC Green Room.
5) Which crime book do you wish YOU’D written, and why?
Perhaps I’d have written a Kay Scarpetta novel, just so I could make her a little less perfect with her pasta-making from scratch – and a little more like us average humans! Surely she’d rather grab a takeaway after a hard week spent looking at dead bodies?