"It’s high summer and the streets of Bridlington East Yorkshire are awash with tourists. A serial killer is on the loose. DCI Will Scott and his team embark upon a fast paced investigation to catch a killer with a unique agenda. As the body count rises the killer randomly moves location and the police are unwittingly drawn into a dark and sinister world where cover-ups and corruption reigns. A place where no one can truly be trusted and nothing is ever what it seems."
About Paul Harrison:
Paul Harrison is a retired police officer, with a successful career that spanned three decades. During that time, he worked on some memorable high profile investigations, and interviewed countless criminals who operated within the darker side of humanity. Paul began writing and had his first book published during his time in the police. Since then, he has gone on to write 34 books, mainly in the field of true crime. Now he has turned all that experience into writing crime fiction.
On retiring from the police, he spent time working with the English Judiciary, at the Royal Courts of Justice, London. During which time, he gained what he describes as ‘an eye opening insight’ into what really happens behind the scenes of a criminal trial or civil hearing.
The vast majority of Paul’s professional career has been within the criminal justice system. He’s worked in many varied and interesting roles throughout his life, and he cites as his greatest achievement to date, unanimously winning, The Centre for Crime and Justice Studies Outstanding Individual of the Year Award 2009, by a panel of assessors that included the Lord Chief Justice of England and Wales. This, primarily, was for his voluntary work in the field of child and male abuse.
He’s passionate about writing, and his first crime fiction novel trilogy is based on genuine experience. It is the first in a series of books that will feature lead detective, DCI Will Scott, and his trusted sidekick, DI Daisy Wright. This crime fighting duo will, throughout the series, find themselves not only investigating mysterious murders, but embroiled in the world of police, legal and establishment corruption also.
Currently based in the North, and describing himself as a true northern lad, Paul is regarded as one of the UK’s leading experts on the subject of serial killers. He has interviewed many such offenders, which has provided a unique insight into their psychology, and all importantly, how and why they select their victims. Detail that will be used within future crime fiction novels.
Paul has made guest appearances in several true crime documentaries on both television and radio. He is a popular and entertaining public speaker, and has talked at many high profile crime writing festivals and conferences, both at home, and on an international stage.
Interview with Paul
Welcome to Allthingsbookie
Interview with Paul
Welcome to Allthingsbookie
Why don't you tell us a little bit about yourself?
Well, I’m a retired police detective, and someone who has worked within all areas of the criminal justice system throughout their working lives. I’ve written and had traditionally published thirty plus true crime and non-fiction books. I’m at the beginning of my crime fiction writing journey, and I’m pleased to be writing for Mike Linane, at Williams & Whiting publishing. Collectively, we are on a journey together. I’m a great reader of crime fiction too, and an avid writer.
How did you get started on your writing journey?
It all began during night shifts as a policeman. In quiet periods, I would read. I was into Jack the Ripper books and had read so much rubbish about the case. I opted to write my on book. I sent it to a publisher, who bought it, and it went from hardback to paperback within a few days. I was hooked thereafter.
Are there any poets or writers who influence you? How so?
I have to say, I love to read the works of my fellow crime writers. I loved Claire Evans book, The Fourteenth Letter. I was fortunate enough to be on a panel with her at Deal Noir earlier this year. Another person I admire is Guy Fraser-Sampson, I love his books and writing style.
Let's talk about your novel! What is it about?
Revenge of the Malakim, is about a serial killer, with a difference, on the loose in Bridlington. The fictional Eastborough police force, are sent into disarray as the body county begins to rise. DI Will Scott and his team pursue the mystery assailant, on a trail that leads them across the country (England) and into a web of deceit, corruption and lies. A place where no one really trusts anyone else. It’s quite graphic in parts, but I can promise the reader an exciting roller coaster of a ride throughout the book. With twists and turns right to the very end.
How is the title significant?
It’s all about the Malakim, an avenging angel, and protector of children. The Malakim delivers double the pain to anyone who harms or abuses children. It actually exists in various religious texts.
Where did inspiration for this come from?
I obviously have a successful police detective background. I also specialised in the field of child abuse. Eventually, on retiring from the police I worked with Charities, and organisations providing support for vulnerable victims of abuse. I speak on the subject of child abuse at national conferences. So my interest came from that. It’s very much remains a taboo subject still, so I wanted to introduce it into the crime writing domain to help further raise its profile. I donate a percentage of every book sale to a child support charities, so it helps in that way too.
Tell us a little bit about the characters? What are they like and how did you come up with them?
The main protagonists is DI Will Scott, who is promoted to DCI part way through the book. He’s a down to earth normal guy, who loves the town he polices. He has no hang ups, vices (other than his support of Leeds United) or issues. He’s an alround good bloke. Married with two kids his wife Mel keeps him grounded.
Will’s supported by DS Daisy Wright, she’s promoted to DI within the book too, filling Will’s position. She’s a cool level headed detective who doesn’t suffer fools gladly and is the ideal foil for Will.
Felicity Harvey. What can I say about her? Well, for a start, she’s secretary to the Home Secretary. She wields a lot of power and authority. A straight, no nonsense talker, she tells it as she sees it and takes no prisoners when giving her opinion. Felicity is feisty, hard-nosed, dare I say arrogant, and classy. Without giving too much away, she’s fast becoming one of the most popular character with readers. In book II - The Dark Web, she plays an even greater role.
Who do you think would like your story and what kind of readership are you aiming for?
I like to think all readers of crime fiction will enjoy it. It’s a sticky subject for my first novel, however, the plot doesn’t go into the actual child abuse. It’s a fast paced police procedural, filled with mystery and intrigue. I wrote it with a view to entertaining crime fiction readers across the genre. One reader from the USA paid the compliment of saying he’d never read a UK based crime fiction novel before. Now, having read Revenge of the Malakim, he’s hooked, and he’ll buy more. So it’s helped engage with overseas readers too.
What is the message you are trying to get across in your book?
I think the primary message is, good does overcome evil. However, maybe, it’s more about the victims of such crime getting their own retribution. If it makes it easier to talk about the subject in general, then it can only be a good thing.
What is your writing process like?
It sometimes shocks me to be honest. I have an idea of a plot, then I create an incident timeline, very much like a real murder investigation. Now the characters are in place, I allow them to dictate the story. I create a murder scene, then it’s like watching them act it out. Naturally this comes from real life experiences within my police and criminal justice background. I like to explore the interaction between different authorities, police, government, MI5, local authorities etc, and show the reader how these relationships operate. Things can, and do, go wrong during an Investigation, simply because there are too many political ramifications and key decision makers protecting themselves.
How do you go about editing your story?
Someone proof reads it for me. All of my facts are double checked, triple checked sometimes. This is to make it as realistic as possible. I have a friend who is a Forensic Psychologist and another who works in Forensic Crime Scene Management. This greatly helps with getting details accurate. Finally, Mike Linane, my publisher at Williams & Whiting, goes through everything with a fine tooth comb. He’s brilliant, supportive and he’s not scared to question anything and everything. All in all, it’s a great team effort.
How did you go about getting published?
My writing background was primarily in non-fiction. I was fortunate to have publishers ask me to write some books, so my reputation grew in that field. When I wrote Revenge of the Malakim, I sent a synopsis and three sample chapters to Williams & Whiting. Mike rang me within a couple of days, and duly signed me up for the book trilogy (The Grooming Parlour Trilogy). I was thrilled. To be honest, he’s supportive, understanding, and very knowledgeable about the crime fiction genre, and what makes a good book, so I’m well pleased to be part of his team.
What plans do you have for the future of your writing?
I think it fair to say, I’ve written my last true crime book now. I have loved writing Revenge of the Malakim, and Book II - The Dark Web. It’s so satisfying to be able to create characters that are as real as genuine detectives and professionals in the criminal justice system. Even more satisfaction was gained in creating the dark serial killers…I’m saying no more I might give the game away. So I’m hoping that Williams & Whiting will sign me up for further books, including my Christmas 2017 special. If I may, I’d like to thank everyone who has helped among my crime fiction journey, including yourself, and most of all my fantastic readers.
Many thanks Paul for agreeing to be interviewed
Where to begin? I was drawn to this book as it is set in Bridlington, a town 'where nothing happens' and a place I know from childhood holidays. Believe me, you will never look at the town in the same way again after you read this book.
It is no cosy mystery but quite gruesome in places even for a die-hard crime reader so be warned. However, it does deal with major themes of pedophilia, corruption, political intrigue so is to be expected. It just seems at odds with the location which makes the ending even more shocking.
I liked the portrayal of the policeman leading the investigation and some nice glimpses into his happy family life - a welcome change from his gory job.
This book isn't for everyone but if you're looking for something a bit different when it comes to crime then this book certainly fits the bill. I did enjoy the book and even though it's pure fiction, I have no plans to visit Bridlington in the near future!