Peter Ritchie is a retired senior police officer. The real-world authenticity in his novels comes from vast experience gained working in CID, murder squads, Serious and Regional Crime Squads and Europol.
Shores of Death is the 3rd book in the Grace Macallan series
A Northern Ireland undercover officer is missing and a young Czech woman is washed up barely alive on the Berwickshire coast. Her story is of witnessing horror on the waters of the North Sea and her subsequent ordeal to survive the trauma turns her world into a series of nightmares.
The story is complex web involving trafficked women from Eastern Europe and alliance of ruthless criminals from Newcastle, Glasgow and Edinburgh. At the head is Pete Handyside a career criminal brought up on the streets of North Shields who controls organised crime in the North East of England. He realises that his team has been infiltrated and sets of a train of events where criminals in the North East of England and Central Scotland turn on each other in an attempt to clean the trail of evidence leading to them. Macallan pits herself against Handyside leading to a chain of events complicated by high level corruption somewhere in the police service.
So, when I started Shores of Death I decided that I wanted it to be about trafficking women as I’d been involved in various cases over the years involving murdered sex workers and women traded for the sex industry. These cases had a profound effect on me and I still think about them to this day. It was important for me to give a glimpse to the reader of what the reality can be for the victims and the brutality of the trade in human beings.
This is the most complex story I’ve written so far and what I loved about it was I was able to use the experience of my early life as a deep-sea fisherman working for years from North Shields on the banks of the Tyne. So, I used a fishing boat in the early scenes as the vehicle for trafficking the victims and even called the boat the Brighter Dawn which was in fact the name of my father’s boat when I was a boy. I used my own knowledge and experience of North Shields and Newcastle to set the early scenes and brought in other harbours such as Eyemouth on the Berwickshire coast.
The action takes place on a very broad canvas involving the North East of England, Edinburgh, Glasgow and later scenes in Perthshire and Loch Melfort in Argyll where I’ve spent a lot of time over the years on walking trips. I’ve always said that what I try to do is make the books as authentic as possible and of course organised crime has no borders now so this would reflect the way detectives and criminals operate in the modern world.
I loved doing this book and of course my confidence as a writer has grown with each story so I felt really comfortable letting my imagination go free on this one. It’s a remarkable experience watching Grace develop, she’s become quite real to me over time and I never seem to have to think too much for her. She just seems to appear – sets off on her own and I just follow and describe what she’s doing! One of the developments in the series is that some of the characters including criminals appear again in the next couple of books so I’ll leave that for another time but enough to say that Grace herself is still going strong.
Grace Macallan is facing a crisis, unsure of her future or whether she is strong enough to carry on with a role in serious crime investigation. Asked to take over an enquiry that will test her to the limit, she struggles with events that threaten to run out of control.
An undercover officer is missing and a young woman is washed up barely alive on the Berwickshire coast. Her story is of witnessing horror on the waters of the North Sea and her subsequent ordeal to survive the trauma that turns her world into a series of nightmares, driving her to the edge of madness.
The story is complex, a web involving trafficked women from Eastern Europe and alliance of ruthless criminals from Newcastle, Glasgow and Edinburgh. At the head of this corporation is Pete Handyside a dangerous career criminal brought up on the streets of North Shields who controls organised crime in the North East of England. He realises that his team has been infiltrated and sets off a train of events where some of the most cold-blooded criminals in the North East of England and Central Scotland turn on each other in an attempt to clean the trail of evidence leading to them.
Grace must now pit her wits against Handyside, a brutal criminal devoid of pity who will stop at nothing to protect what he has built up over the years. And with lives at stake, one wrong move could end in tragedy.
Peter Ritchie’s Grace Macallan series is only on its third book in the series but it is already establishing itself as a new series to watch out for, the settings and the character are so believable it actually feels as though you are right there in the middle of the action with the main characters as the novel moves along, you also feel as though the characters could be real life people instead of fictional characters in a book. This could be down to the fact that the author Peter Ritchie is very good with his research and that he can call on his real life experience of being a detective in CID when he is writing about the cases that his character are drawn into, from his previous trilogy of novels the Grace Den Herder it is clear that the author is a writer that is very detailed with what the reader, sees, hears and feels and that is what keeps the readers engaged and on the edge of their seats while reading his latest novel shores of death which focus heavily on the murky world of human trafficking, there is also the case of a missing undercover police officer and corruption within the force that ties in with the storyline, that makes this latest offering a cant put down book that will have you on the edge of your seat from page one to the end, it will make you feel like your on a rollercoaster as you ride through a million emotions and highs and lows, this book will leave you wanting more from this series and I can’t wait to see where the next book will take us, I recommend if you have not started this series that you look up this author blow and start reading this series you won’t regret it.
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