MOST RECENT

BLACKTHORNS OF THEIR OWN

OCTOBER 2016- OCTOBER 2017     

What if a serial killer, who so far has avoided detection and hasn’t killed anyone since 1981, was to start again? Why? 

Would being over seventy years old be a handicap?    


Ex-DI Fletcher is now long time retired, so he has to allow the official investigators to do most of the work . . . whilst, of course, being unable to keep his nose out.  Especially as he feels this is definitely still ‘his case’!       


Ex-DI Irene Garner agrees to tag along against her better instincts . . . but everyone’s efforts come to nothing, as the ‘Snow White Killer’ manages to be as elusive as ever.  


Meanwhile a middle aged woman has to come to terms with finding out she was an adopted child . . . and that her real mother may have done far worse things than abandon her.       


Against the backdrop of the Brexit referendum and the ensuing fall out, lots of people have to come to terms with life changing events.


PUBLISHED JULY 2018     

IN THAT BRIEF MOMENT

JUNE 1978


DI Mick Fletcher investigates the deaths of a young woman and her baby, who fell from a twelfth storey block of flats in the centre of Rochdale.


He thinks he's solved the case, but it turns out the young suspect, Jack Knight, has a an alibi  . . . an encounter with an aristocrat lady, Louisa Cunninghame, who Fletcher subsequently gets to know very well.


JUNE 2018


But now Jack has found some strange and worrying evidence, which might shed light on the dreadful events which have haunted him for forty years.


Feltcher has promised he wouldn't do any more, but he tells private investigators, Hook and Robinson, what he remembers.


 Meanwhile ex-MI6 operative, James Ferris, gets wind of these operations and decides he needs to terminally remove any links to his involvement in those events and rid the world of the interfering Fletcher once and for all.


TO BE PUBLISHED AUTUMN  2018

A MAN IN FLAMES

FEBRUARY 1979     

An ex-soldier is intent on vengeance but on a scale which is beyond anyone’s worst nightmare.      


DI Mick Fletcher is intent on getting back to London and escaping the rain sodden hell of Rochdale to which he’s been assigned.     


Only recently he was sure a successful murder investigation would be his ticket back down south, but the case fell apart, when the suspect reveals an irrefutable - but very attractive – alibi.      


A love affair blossoms, but is it doomed before it can flourish?      


What game is his new sergeant, Sadie Swift, playing?      


As the tension rises, Fletcher finds himself more and more at the edge – struggling to hang onto his job, his love  . . . even his life.

LAKE DISTRICT TRILOGY

DAUGHTER OF THE ROSE

FEBRUARY 1980  

DI Mick Fletcher has been sent even further north to Penrith after his unacceptable behaviour in West Yorkshire.   


A dead prostitute and a missing wife – but Fletcher’s got family troubles of his own.  


Octavia Hutton and her National Trust colleagues are excited when they gain access to a huge Gothic mansion abandoned for over sixty years.  Little do they know how their expectations will be overwhelmed by the treasure trove they are about to uncover.  

These two investigations seem unconnected – but a serial killer will unite them all in solving a long dead secret  . . . and be the catalyst for a final act of terrible vengeance.  


BUY


REVIEW COMMENT

'The intriguing plot, which cleverly retells the story of cases being investigated by Detective Mick Fletcher, weaves together threads which link cases and characters and ends with a reveal which made me gasp out loud!'


https://youtu.be/H1ttK_mqhbM

A RIPPLE OF LIES

JUNE 1981         

A young girl is on the run after assaulting a teacher.   

An Italian ‘businessman’  and his bodyguards are killed in a violent shoot-out.  

Meanwhile DI Mick Fletcher is surprised to be invited to a society wedding only to find out it’s a cover for Special Branch to send him to Barrow-in-Furness – the ‘longest cul-de-sac in the world’.   


A new submarine is to be launched there on the 1st of July and undercover contacts have got wind that a terrorist attack is planned.  


Fletcher insists on taking newly promoted DS Irene Garner along for the ride – but neither of them is ready for the mayhem which spirals out of their control as the day of the launch approaches.   


Too many players in a never-ending game of blind man’s bluff which reaches an unexpected and shocking conclusion.


REVIEW COMMENT:

'Fiendously complicated!'

THE RAIN IT NEVER STOPS

MAY 1982

DI Mick Fletcher couldn’t deny that he prefers the company of women - but falling for a girl half his age?

 What’s the matter with him?  

And that’s not all.  He’s been sent to the Wild West  . . . of Cumbria.  


Two bodies are found at the bottom of a Lakeland crag and an old lady lies dead in her bed.  

Accidents or something more sinister? 


And what’s any of this to do with the Falklands War? 

Within days the cases are closed and inquests hastily arranged. 


But the girl’s dark eyes lure him in to a bewildering labyrinth of secrets and lies, only one step ahead of people who will do anything to ensure no-one finds out what happened one night in May - a decisive moment in the Falklands War and the premiership of Margaret Thatcher. 


REVIEW COMMENT: 

'Love Rick's portrayals of great British characters and amazing landscapes, on top of the generous helping of suspense.




FURTHER NORTH & FRANCE

SOME DANCE TO FORGET

OCTOBER 1981  

DI Mick Fletcher and DS Irene Garner are once again on the track of the ‘Snow White Killer’ - a woman who kills ‘wicked stepmothers’. 


There have been no victims for over a year, but now two in quick succession. Except the second body maybe isn’t one of hers. 


Is it a copycat killer instead? 


Colin Lockwood returns to the down-at-heel seaside town where he was born and grew up: an idyllic childhood memory, which is about to be shattered by the revelations which will shock and horrify the whole community.  


One wedding leads to a lot of funerals as the secrets of a bunch of 60s teenagers are uncovered by a series of horrific murders. 


A killer desperately trying to prevent the truth from coming to light. 


A truth which is preserved in black and white images of unimaginable sexual depravity.


This story had me hooked from the start and I loved the cleverly interwoven plotlines from previous stories to add more detail to previously encountered characters both villain and hero.


https://youtu.be/VHvgO54ju6M

VOICES IN THE DARKNESS

OCTOBER 2014

A teenage girl is missing.  

Eleanor Rawlins is an unworldly loner, who would rather be climbing than fingering a smart phone. 


A teacher is found dead in the woods. Is it suicide or murder?   


It’s too late for DI Irene Nicholson – retirement is due.  But she can’t let go. She revives her old partnership with ex-DI Fletcher to uncertainly follow the flimsiest of tenuous clues, driven only by their sceptical curiosity and the haunting premonition of another teenager.


  ‘I’ve seen it . . .  

there are big hills on either side.  

It’s cold.  

Blue sky.  

Eagles floating high up.  

There’s a lake.  

The wind is blowing.  

The girl is walking towards you.  She’s not well . . . something terrible has happened 

. . . her eyes are . . .’  


Terrible crimes were committed in the 1980s . . . by people in positions of trust and authority. 

How much longer can they be kept secret?


'Read this latest book in less than 24 hours , needed to know how it ended.'


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ql6qrHwosLU

THOSE WHO CANNOT DIE

OCTOBER  2015

Retired detective Mick Fletcher discovers he’s been a father – for the last thirty five years! 


His son, Christian, is a detective currently involved in trying to bring tax evaders to justice, but they are both dragged back into Fletcher’s past to revisit previous investigations in which he was thwarted yet again by the machinations of politicians and Special Branch.  


Catlin Beck is trying to escape her mother’s nightmares only to find herself drawn back to the same events in the company of less than honest companions.  


The past doesn’t always go away. 


Sometimes it catches up with you. 


Some people can’t forget. 


They realise they need to stop running and face their demons.  


And sometimes the desire to live no matter what is stronger than anything else. 


Not wanting to live forever . . . but driven by an anger that won’t let you die.


'This is a truly intriguing book with numerous twists and turns. It keeps you guessing right through and the way the separate threads draw together in the back end is great. Highly recommended.'


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5GCW2gCkxrE


A SELECTION OF POEMS & SHORT STORIES

THERE IS A PLACE

There is a place. 

At the edge.  

The outer edge.  

It’s a long haul.  

You have to want to go there. 


It may be grey when you arrive with just the semblance of hills disappearing into the huddling gloom. 


Or you may have been treated to racing white clouds in a blue sky, the Sutherland peaks standing erect above the glacier scarred landscape like petrified dinosaurs. There is a place as you cross to the west where you come over a slight rise having negotiated your first few single track passing places. 


On a sunny day with the tide high, it will take your breath away. 

In a gentle v-shaped view you’ll be offered a first sight of the myriad greens and blues and purples and browns you’ll come to love - your first glimpse of the white sand stretching into the distance on both sides and the island of Taransay lounging in the bay.  


But there’s more.  


There is more than one beach of satin sand stretching to the glittering sea. 

There are millions of shells to be searched for and treasures to be collected.  

You may find yourself lost in wonder in the buffeting rain as the waves rush towards you, the power of their thousand mile journey dashed in frothy splendour at your feet.  

Within minutes the sun will break through, the gannets flashing like black and white axes into the wallowing azure and emerald clarity not fifty yards away. 

Perhaps a seal will appear and bob along, its mournful eyes watching you before it slips into the green depths. 

Or busy dunlins will pickle back and forth across the wet sand in front of you. 

Or you might raise your eyes to the humpbacked hills, where you can run with the deer and fly with the eagles.  

Or you may wake in the night and stand in the cold air wondering at the enormity of a darkness filled with far more sparklings of light than you’re used to seeing.  

You may be befriended by a gaggle of wagtails fluttering at your windows or smile at the road gang of eleven very white sheep and three grizzly black ones as they hustle back and forth mowing the edges of the road.  


You will need to return – because there is this place: a terrible beauty which hangs at the edge of your mind when you’re not there, waiting for you to come back.