Friends, fans and readers alike. Amazingly, it’s been two years exactly since my last WordPress blog. And boy, has a lot happened since then!!

Two Springs ago, I told you how I was preparing for the publication of my third Detective Constable Dominic Strider crime novel, Strider Begins: Road to Nowhere. Best laid plans and all that?

Since then, well, let’s not dwell too much on the details, but in summer 2019 we sold our flat (the process was a nightmare). I subsequently had health issues caused by the stress and needed medical check-ups (another nightmare). Then a certain little bug started creeping its pernicious way into our lives…..

These things have all conspired to distract me from my novel-writing for quite a while, unfortunately.

Throughout it all, there have been two constants, which I am very lucky and grateful to have.

The first is my undying enthusiasm to get my novel in print. I think it’s the best thing I’ve written since the first one (and is possibly better, as I have definitely matured as a writer).

The second constant has been my wonderful publishers, David and Kelly from Britain’s Next Best Seller. They too have been affected by the spread of the virus, as has every aspect of our daily lives, work, ambitions and relationships.

But David and Kelly have kept in touch throughout, even saying they’d understand if I wished to take my work elsewhere. I refused to do that because a) they are awesome people, and b) loyalty is profoundly important to me.

So we have reached the two-year anniversary of my last blog on WordPress. I have completed another final proofread of my book, and thoroughly enjoyed immersing myself in DC Strider’s action-packed, laddish (and sometimes tragic) world.

Regarding ‘Strider Begins: Road to Nowhere’, my third DC Strider crime novel

I think it’s the best thing I’ve written since the first one (and is possibly better, as I have definitely matured as a writer).

We have the cover design to agree, then we are good to go. Is it too ambitious to think we might be releasing this summer? Who knows?

But I have waited for so long, what’s another few months, when I know the book looks great, my publisher has done a brilliant job for me, and they have exciting PR opportunities lined-up including a podcast, interviews, press and such like.

And – when lockdown finally finishes in the coming weeks and months – I even plan to revisit Chester for the first time in ages, to walk those same streets that Strider patrols, knowing that whatever life throws at him – a bomb threat, double murder, a treasure hunt and a personal tragedy in Road to Nowhere – he will survive and thrive.

As will we all. So please stay safe and healthy, have the vaccine, keep reading, and I look forward to seeing you at some socially-distanced book signing one day in the near future.

WHAT’S IT ALL ABOUT, DETECTIVE?

‘Strider Begins: Road to Nowhere’ starts on the first day when policeman Dominic Strider joins Chester CID.

He is immediately plunged into action when he finds a bomb outside Chester Cathedral, primed to detonate in four minutes. With no sign of the bomb squad, he has only one option to avoid disaster – he recklessly picks up the bomb and runs through the crowded city centre streets with it, hoping to throw it in the river before it explodes. Well, they say you should always start your novel off with a bang!!

That’s only Chapter 1.

Who planted the bomb and why? Who murdered a local newspaper reporter and an elderly lady, and what’s their connection to the mysterious disappearance of a treasure trove? Can DC Strider catch the bank robbers and drugs kingpin bringing misery on the city? And why does DC Strider dress up as a Roman centurion to save his best friend’s life?

All these questions and more will be answered in the book.

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