The remains of three bodies, one of them an infant, one of them a child, are found in an old house close to Manchester University. The house used to be a care home for teenage boys and Detective Superintendent Jeff Barton and his team uncover a history of brutality and abuse. But what is the link between that and the three bodies? The investigation leads to the former manager of the care home and his wife who are traced to a villa in Spain. The twisted secrets and lies of the family are exposed and Jeff, who is a single Dad following the death of his wife and who balances a demanding job with the care of his five year-old son Toby, begins to see what nobody else can. A determined and audacious plan by a former resident of the home, a former victim of the abuse, who is now hellbent on revenge. And if he’s right then Jeff and his team have to act quickly before justice is taken out of their hands.
THE AUTHOR BIO
David was born in Derby, England and has lived all over the UK but now he divides his time between Paris, where his partner John lives, and the northwest of England. In 2009 he left an almost thirty year career in the airline industry to pursue his lifelong dream of becoming a writer of crime fiction and ‘Sorceror’ is his seventh book, the first in a series set in Manchester and featuring Detective Superintendent Jeff Barton. He’s now working on the second which he hopes to release in spring 2014. When he isn’t writing he teaches English to Russian students, he works for a Brussels-based consultancy advising the UK transport industry, and he’s an activist and events organiser for the Labour party. He takes a keen interest in current and international affairs, he’s into all the arts of literature, film, TV, music, and theatre, and he’s an avid fan of American singer/songwriter Stevie Nicks. He also loves Indian food and the odd glass of red wine or three!
THE GUEST POST
I blame Val McDermid for everything! I’d been procrastinating for centuries about becoming a writer, boring my friends stupid with endless talk about how I was going to do it one day. They would fall asleep listening to me and occasionally get rather cross and tell me to ‘get on with it then!’. I needed a push. I needed someone to open that door inside my head and let it all come flooding out.
Then one day I had to take a long train journey and in the days before e-reader’s I stocked up with a couple of paperbacks. One of them was ‘The Mermaid’s Singing’ by Val McDermid. I started to read it and it not only gripped me and took up residence in my imagination, but it inspired me. It was a different kind of crime novel from anything I’d read before and although it’s pretty gruesome in places( I got some very strange looks on the train when I shivered at some of the scenes) it also gave me an understanding of the kind of writer I wanted to be. Then I read ‘A Place of Execution’ by Val and by the end of that I was emotionally committed to writing and to entertaining people through good storytelling and believable characters.
My first attempt after many different drafts became a book called ‘The Wild Heart’. I knew I wanted to write fiction that was edgy and challenging and because I wanted to be known as a crime fiction writer I thought it would be best to come up with a series of books featuring one character. That led to me writing three books featuring the character of DCI Sara Hoyland who’s a thirty-something woman who likes wine, men, and sex as well as being a bloody good police officer. Another stand alone book and a collection of short stories later, I found myself writing the fourth in the Sara Hoyland series. But I wasn’t comfortable with it. It didn’t seem like Sara’s kind of story. That’s when I came up with the new detective of Jeff Barton and the story of ‘Sorceror’ suddenly started to make perfect sense.
‘Sorceror’ asks the reader to take their mind into some pretty dark territory but it is a compelling story and one which launches the character of Jeff Barton in a way which I hope people will connect with and have their own ideas about how he will develop over subsequent books in the series. One of the reasons I chose to write in the crime fiction genre was because it allows me as a writer to tell stories that include social commentary and that cover the kinds of issues that are important to people and that they have opinions about. In ‘Sorceror’ the evil deeds committed appear to have gone unanswered until someone takes matters into their own hands. One of the thrills I get when I’m writing is when I put those twists into the story that I know will turn people’s picture of where the story is going on it’s head. There are some good twists in ‘Sorceror’ which I hope make it an entertaining read. I really hope you enjoy the story and in the process you get to know Detective Superintendent Jeff Barton as well as I do.
And it’s all Val McDermid’s fault!