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
Guest Post By Paul Harrison
THERE LIES MONSTERS
Everyone loves a good murder, right? Well, presumably everyone, with the exception of the victim, and their family and friends that is. As a retired detective, turned crime writer, I am often asked what my inspiration was for initially writing about crime?
Personally, it was real life experiences that had such a profound impact on me. When the media and in some instances, true crime authors, report or write on such abhorrent crimes, they inevitably forget those who are left behind. Reporting is generally all about the act, the killer, and their antecedents. Yet what of those who have to live, day and night, with such atrocities? Is any consideration given to them? In my experience, they are rarely given a second thought. Yet they deserve a voice, their pain should be heard.
Over the years, I’ve interviewed hundreds of people who have been ‘left behind.’ Collectively, the one thing these people wanted, was to understand ‘why’ their relative or friend, was a victim?
So, when the opportunity arose during the 1990’s, for me to interview, face to face, serial killers and killers of all types, I seized the opportunity with open arms. I wanted to try to understand what it was that could transform a normal human being into a murderous monster. I wanted answers directly from the mouths of the killers themselves.
Sixty plus interviews later, and I’m acutely aware that the monsters exist only in the minds of the media. Each of the killers I met, male and female, were outwardly, anything but horrific. They were little more than egotistical cowards. In prison, most desire the kudos of their murderous actions being regarded by their peers as terrifying. None of the killers I spoke with could tell me why they selected each victim, the closest I came to a genuine answer was that ‘opportunity’ played a major role in the crime.
The vast majority of the killers I’ve interviewed are anything but interesting, so when researching and writing a true crime book, there’s only so much one can write about them. Generally, they are boring people, who, prior to their crimes, led mundane lives, and were often regarded as insignificant in the workplace or socially.
With that in mind, I decided to turn to crime fiction, and to create my own ‘murderous monsters.’ This also allows me to raise awareness of the ongoing suffering, that acts of murder create for those left behind, and depict how it affects everyday people connected to the act. My killers are loosely based on genuine experience, a selective mix of the genuine article if you like, all of whom are safely locked up in prison, for life, I hasten to add! My victims are wholly fictional (well kind of, depends on how much you upset me), most are created to blend in and enhance the flow of the plot, likewise their families and friends. It’s the emotions that each protagonist endures, that is very real. That for me is important in drawing the reader in and living the story as it develops.
So, the next time you read sensational headlines about serial killers or murderers, spare a thought for those left behind. Including, the emotional trauma caused to the coppers dealing with it. We do take our police for granted, however, the vast majority are a very special group of people indeed. My crime novel: Revenge of the Malakim (Williams & Whiting) gives an insight into that human side of policing. It’s no tear jerker, but it’s realistic and at time blood-curdling! Read it if you dare….
Q&A With Paul Harrison
How did you get into the world of books?
I have a background in the Criminal Justice system, working as a police officer, covering three decades. Strangely, I worked alongside many officers who made it to the top, (to the rank of Chief Constable) on their way up the career ladder, including the CC of Greater Manchester, and the ex-Chief of Police Scotland, and one ex-Chief Inspector of Constabularies. This was followed by a brief stay, as a High Court Judges Clerk, at the Royal Courts of Justice, London. I later worked in the Charity Sector, helping vulnerable adults and children. In 2010, I won the Centre for Crime and Justice Studies ‘Outstanding Individual of the Year’ award, for my voluntary work helping victims of abuse.
I actually started writing, back in 1999 during my police career, when I had my first nonfiction true crime book published. Since then I’ve had 30 plus non-fiction books published. Now, it’s crime fiction books all the way.
Describe yourself using three words?
Honest, personable, loyal (to those I care about)
What inspired you to write your first novel?
It felt like a natural transition. The different career paths of life I have walked, have provided me with a wealth of experience to draw on, and what better way to use them, than in my novels. For instance, I’ve interviewed many serial killers, so many that they literally become quite boring. So it was great to be able to create my own. My good guys are loosely based on a culmination of people I have met.
What time of day do you like to write?
It varies. I like to work with a bit of background music playing, so it inspires me. It’s always upbeat but not to the point of distraction.
What is your favourite book and why?
Easy this one. Moby Dick by Hermann Melville. I just love, the dark obsessive character of Captain Ahab, and how Moby Dick survived the conflict. I really don’t like to see animals persecuted, or hurt. So don’t expect to see any in my books.
How did you pick the title of your book?
I wanted a champion to protect children and came across the term Malakim. This, effectively, is an angel, who wreaks vengeance on those who harm children.
Are the characters in your book based on real people?
The good guys are, but not so the baddies. The latter are unique creations.
If you were a colour what would it be?
Wow, that’s a tough one. I think I’m more of a rainbow. Adaptable maybe.
Do you plan your story beforehand or go with the flow?
I try to create a storyline, however, my characters do take over, and I just let them run. I like to think it keeps everything realistic.
Who is your favourite Author?
Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. The original Sherlock Holmes stories are hard to beat, for me. I’m also very much into Agatha Christie.
If you could give any literary villain a happy ending who would you choose?
Norman Bates, from Robert Bloch’s novel – Psycho.
Are you working on a new project?
Yes, I’m currently writing book two of the Grooming Parlour Trilogy (The Dark Web). After this trilogy, I have more exciting adventures planned for my lead Detective, DCI Will Scott, and his team.
Facebook Author Page – PaulHarrisonAuthor
Your Author Website – www.paulharrisonbooks.co.uk
To order and have a sneak peek please use these handy links ~
Thank you, Paul Harrison & @WillandWhiting for taking the time out for Love Books Group, see you again soon.
If you enjoyed the blog please leave a like and a comment. We would love it if you could share it on Twitter & Facebook. It really helps us to grow. Thanks so very much.
Connect with Chasing Time Writer Retreats for more information or to book yourself that much need writing getaway. More writing retreats are available~
Connect with Love Book Group on Social Media~