Work in Progress

Although I frequently decide to concentrate only on one book at a time, I inevitably find myself with more ideas than I need, so end up with several works in progress. At the moment, I’m busy with several new books, including:

Blood on the Tyne: Head Shots


The dance invitations came by way of my barmaid friend, Cindy, who’d wangled herself two free tickets and then fallen down the back steps at the club and put her ankle out. My commitments to Ricky and the band, as well as my new regular spot at the Majestic, restricted my free time, so a night off was something to be cherished. And given that my current list of friends could be counted on one hand, it seemed like the perfect opportunity to develop an actual social life. With only my drinks to pay for, I quickly ran out of excuses not to go.

Dragging our Sheila along for company ensured there’d be someone to talk to if the evening turned out to be dull. My sister’s new resolution to return to work and her need to ‘get back into the swing of things’ after all that trouble with Charlie Box and that bent copper, seemed reason enough—even Bob encouraged her to let her hair down a bit.

Catching the bus into town made it feel like old times again, though Sheila hadn’t entirely given up her whinging nature, and complained about her new shoes pinching all the way along Bridge Street, until I insisted she take them off. We reached our destination—the Oxford Galleries—and joined the queue to get in, chatting to a couple of Sheila’s pals. Then Lucy turned up and squashed in front of us, telling the folks behind that we’d ‘kept her place’.

That Saturday night was the first time I’d gone anywhere remotely exciting since moving into the new flat. It was also the first time I met Lucy Clayton—a flighty blonde-haired school friend of our Sheila’s, who had her heart set on becoming a glamour model. Perhaps if I’d taken more interest in Lucy’s conversation, instead of drinking too many gin and tonics, I might’ve noticed her slightly odd behaviour, or seen something of the rabbit-in-the-headlights look that Sheila remembered later, after we read about what happened to her in the papers.

I saw Lucy again a few days afterwards, during a rehearsal. A band called The Wandering Wanderers had lost their vocalist and rather than force them to either cancel or find someone else, Frankie Fenwick had offered my services for their gig at the Majestic. I didn’t mind, as they were a nice bunch of guys and I knew all the songs, and though it was an extra date to what I’d arranged with Frankie, I didn’t like to turn work down.

We’d stumbled our way through the agreed song list during the afternoon and were about to take a break, when I noticed Lucy hanging around at the back of the hall with a couple of the staff. Her eyes were on me as she talked to Eddie the barman, pulling at his sleeve like a needy child. He gave me a little wave and jerked a thumb at Lucy—a sign I took that she wanted to see me.

Five minutes later, I crossed the hall to the end of the bar where Eddie washed glasses, upending each one on a towel across the rear counter.

“Where’d she go?” I said, leaning over the bar.

Eddie gave me a wink and nodded towards the back door. “Just nipped oot for a smoke, pet. Said she’d be back in a minute, like.”

But Lucy never did come back and the next time I saw her face it had been plastered across the Evening Chronicle, above the headline, ‘Newcastle Model Found Dead’.

I didn’t know it then, but Lucy Clayton’s life—and more importantly, her death—were destined to haunt me until I found the person responsible for putting a bullet through her head.



Introducing a new thriller series set Inverness.

Relic Black takes things that don’t belong to him—credit cards, golf clubs, toothbrushes. But when a hitman mistakes him for someone else, Relic lands himself in a difficult situation. With a dead man on his hands and a guilty conscience, he sets off to save the life of the man whose identity he has stolen. And that’s when the trouble starts…

Terminal Black is book #1 in the Relic Black Thriller series.

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