Three brutal attacks.
One near-fatal beating.
And a deadly score to settle.
DI Jack Brady is riding high after the successful outcome of his previous case, but his world is about to come crashing down.
There’s a serial rapist plaguing the streets of Whitley Bay. Three young women have been horribly abused, and his boss and the press are screaming for answers. Everything seems to point to his old friend and foe, gangster Martin Madley, though Brady still struggles to believe he’s capable of such acts.
With time running out before the villain strikes again, Brady must follow every scrap of evidence. But there are forces at work he knows nothing about, and his persistence is leading both him and those close to him ever further into danger…
Vanishing Point sees DI Jack Brady investigating the horrific deaths of young women in Whitley Bay – and uncovering a sadistic and powerful trafficking ring that has its roots in the highest echelons of power…
“Moaning, she lifted her aching head up off the cold tiled floor. In the background the razor sharp noise of dripping water echoed again and again.
All she knew was that she was hurting. Really hurting.
That was when she realised that her tongue was missing…”
Early on a Sunday morning in the North East seaside resort of Whitley Bay, a headless female torso washes up on the beach. Two days later, the body’s missing head appears a mile down the coast – and with that, DI Jack Brady is plunged into one of the most harrowing cases of his career.
Early one morning in the seaside resort of Whitley Bay, the lifeless body of a young girl, Sophie Washington, is found brutally murdered – her face mutilated beyond recognition
DI Jack Brady, recovering from a vicious shooting incident, is on the edge. Struggling with his marriage break-up and his tortured past, his problems intensify when friend and colleague DI James Matthews confidentially reveals that he was with the victim the night of her murder.
Brady’s loyal deputy, the clean-cut Detective Sergeant Harry Conrad and police psychologist Dr Amelia Jenkins are assigned with Brady to solve the victim’s murder. But the investigation becomes increasingly compromised as Brady realises that Matthews is holding something back.
As Brady delves ever deeper into Sophie’s life, he comes to realise that the three men who should have protected her during her short life are the chief suspects in her murder: her teacher, her step-father and a police detective.
1. How did you get started writing
I completed a BA (Hons)in scriptwriting, followed by a Masters in American literature and film and then a PhD in African American literature and literary theory. However, close to the end of my PhD I began writing a psychological thriller set in New England. When a New York agency said they were interested in it I (foolishly) left my PhD and academia, to complete the novel. It took two years to write and was too long (1,000 pages at least!) and too complicated. The literary agency recommended edits etc., to make it commercially viable but at the time I found myself unable to change it. It’s a novel that I will definitely rewrite when I get the chance. Broken Silence was then my second attempt at writing a novel and I began it on the recommendation of another author who suggested that I write about what I knew; which was living in the North East of England in a run-down seaside resort.
2. What drew you to write a crime novel
I have always been fascinated by the darker side of humanity. Understanding why people commit such atrocious acts of violence is something that never fails to intrigue me. So, crime was the perfect genre for me to indulge my passion for writing and explore what drives one person to inflict pain and suffering on another.
3. Which writers past or present have influenced your style of writing
Without hesitation, Edgar Allan Poe. His character, Auguste C. Dupin, considered to be one of the first fictional detectives, was certainly one of my earliest influences. The Murders in the Rue Morgue (1841) is the first ‘locked room mystery’ in which a Parisian woman is discovered with her throat cut so savagely that her head is barely attached. Her daughter is then found strangled and stuffed up a chimney. Both gruesome murders have taken place inside a locked room with no evident escape route for the murderer. Poe is the master of narration and a genius when it comes to plots. I would also cite Walter Mosley and his hard-boiled detective series with Easy Rawlins and Raymond Chandler’s private investigator, Philip Marlowe.
4. When you first started writing did you find it hard to get publisher interest
It is really difficult for any writer starting out to get a publisher interested. However, I was fortunate in that I had an excellent agent (Jenny Brown of Jenny Brown Associates) and she did all the hard work and secured a publishing deal for me. The best advice I could give to any new writer is to get a good agent. Publishing houses are more likely to read your novel if you are represented by a literary agent rather than sending in an unsolicited manuscript.
5. There are many interesting characters in your Novels, do you have a particular favourite one
I am perhaps going to state the obvious, but it has to be my main character, DI Jack Brady. He is profoundly flawed which makes him such an interesting character to write. He is also a character who is doggedly committed to his job and has an unerring sense of loyalty to all those around him.
6. What kind of research have you have to undertake for your Novels
I have some contacts in the police force and probation services which are invaluable when writing. The internet is also a fantastic way of carrying out research; whether it is related to forensic technology or police procedural information. I also have the FBI’s Crime Classification Manual. One of the authors, John Douglas, was one of the FBI’s first profilers. It is a fascinating manual and is great research material for anyone interested in studying criminology.
7. Are the characters in your books based on any real life
No. Given the fact that I write about where I actually live, I would be too worried that someone would recognise themselves in my books and turn up on my doorstep!8. Since you have started writing have any well-known authors given you any advice
No, I have not been given any advice from any well-known authors but I did read the African American writer, Walter Mosley’s book, ‘This Year You Write Your Novel’. He suggests that you should write for three hours a day. Excellent advice and regardless of how difficult it is to actually commit three hours daily it does guarantees that within a year you will have a novel.
9. Do you see any of your characters personality in yourself and vice versa
Thankfully, no. However, I am sure that people who know me and have read the series might disagree.
10. If you can, would you give us a sneaky peak into any future novels you have planned
The next Brady book is Dead Man Walking which will be published next February. The plot is as follows:
In the 1970s, a terrifying serial killer stalked the streets of Tynemouth. The press called him the Joker. The crimes stopped – but the man was never caught. And now he’s back. A body has been found in a sleazy motel room, murdered in exactly the same way as the Joker’s first victims. Brady returns to duty to face the most twisted case yet. As Brady digs into both the old murders and the new, he must confront revenge, betrayal, love and lies… and a truly ruthless killer. Is it a copycat killer or the original Joker? Only time will tell…
11. Out of all the Novels you have written do you gave a favourite one that stands out to you
It would have to be the one I have just written: Dead Man Walking. The Joker serial killer was such an interesting character and I really enjoyed (if that’s the right word given the horrific nature of his crimes) writing him. Even I felt squeamish when writing some of the crime scenes involving this killer!
12. As a well known crime writer do you have words of advice you can share
The best advice I can give are the words of Randy Pausch. Whether attempting to get a publishing contract, or completing a novel, the following sentiment kept me hanging in there:
‘Those bricks are not there to keep us out; the brick walls are there to give us a chance to show how badly we want something.’ (Randy Pausch, ‘The Last Lecture’ 2007.)
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