Guest Blog: Murder most foul with a bit of humour sometimes! by Pat McDonald

pat mcdonaldNow a full time novelist, currently writing within the crime fiction genre, I latterly worked as a Researcher, Project Manager and Programme Manager for the last seventeen years of my career within the police service. I decided to write fiction when I was fifteen, got caught up in this thing called the ‘real world’ that delayed me for too many years.

‘Retiring’ during the 20,000 police staff cuts in the austere times, I began to write my first crime novel ‘Getting Even: Revenge is best served cold’ with maybe a tongue in cheek desire not to waste the invitation to leave full time work and the ‘freedom’ to become creative. I did pull on my experiences (procedural) and is the story of a Major Crime Unit where Luc Wariner and Aidey Carter battle against a corrupt Chief Inspector Beddoes, murder, a paedophile ring, underage prostitution and drug dealing, which grew into an epic.

I found myself writing ‘The Blue Woods’ trilogy named because of my over-active imagination at disposal of bodies and a rather good Book Cover designer who nudged me that way. The spill over into ‘Rogue Seed’ led me to think about what would happen to a snatched baby if it was never found, but grew up in someone else’s family and of course ‘going rogue’ a term used for when a cop goes bad. I explore the other aspects of rogue seed; it would have been rude not to include the botanical meaning (growing of weed) or the loveable rogue conceived in the likeness of a deceased father.

‘Boxed off’ the third book although reflecting the theme of the book, buried bodies, kidnapped and confined to a cage, it also reminded me of a need to finish the series. All three books stand in their own right, but certain aspects of criminal investigation goes on and sometimes doesn’t culminate in the villain being caught. Not in real life or in my books and as in life there are plenty of murders along the way.

For every writer some characters will just drop out of their plot. As a ‘free flow’ writer who doesn’t plan but let’s their imagination run, it allows them to use that character for a book of their own. ‘Breaking Free’ sees Livia Morrison, the once child mistress of Chief Inspector Harry Beddoes (Getting Even) escape to UAE and eventually return to a quaint village in Wales to hide in plain sight. This book is about stalking, has a touch of the paranormal and WW1 history thrown together into a thriller. She discovers she has a past in the very community she lives in when she finds the chest in the attic of the cottage she has just purchased. The ghostly influence of this book led me on a visit to Caernarfon Castle where the Royal Welsh Fusilier museum is housed and where I ‘saw’ the ending to that particular element of the story. Breaking Free came to an end just as I discovered I had a brain tumour which I had removed surgically a couple of months later.

My recovery and convalescence, particularly learning to write and type again was done through editing Breaking Free and beginning ‘A Penny for Them’ which is a humorous crime series I began at this time to maintain a sense of humour and to entertain myself during what I have to say was a trying time.

Benjamin Matthews (nee Pollock) was conceived and his trials and tribulations innocently entering the criminal world in pursuit of Rebecah, the beautiful nymphomaniac daughter of a failed politician and notorious villain. His attempt at selling The Daisy Effect, a Benzedrine product in the shape of tiny embossed daisies on rice paper, as a slimming product fails on the drug scene, when he discovers he has been producing and selling a genuine and successful slimming product. He also discovers in a series of eventful meetings that he isn’t who he thought he was.

I enjoyed writing humour so much I wrote the second book in the series, ‘The Penny Drops’, which sees Ben and his new family emigrating out to United Arab Emirates, where Rebecah gets a job as a nurse. Ben gets arrested at the airport and is taken in for questioning and discovers that the undercover cop Daphne has different plans for him. His attempts to try to join his family and stay one step ahead of being pursued are hard fought and with a little help from his recently discovered ‘new’ real family, he manages to escape.

Book 3 ‘ A Bad Penny’ is half written and takes place in United Arab Emirates where crazy chickens, vigilante freedom fighters and zombie movie making leads Ben to realise that escaping from family and crazy people is harder than he thinks – like a ‘bad penny’ someone always turns up.

‘Echoes of Doubt’ now finished is another spin off from The Blue Woods trilogy where the Private Investigator Bart Bridges has entered the Witness Protection Programme and become Cyrus Bartholomew, the clock maker, in a small seaside town called Wainthorpe-pat's bookson-sea. After two years he has settled into his new life of routine and habit only to have his serene world challenged when his elderly next door neighbour at The Art Gallery is found violently murdered whilst he slept. This leads him to wonder if perhaps the murderer has mistaken The Art Gallery for his shop, and his past caught up with him.

The trouble with his clock shop, Time and Tide, is that strange things happen which he doesn’t always have an explanation for. He meets and teams up with Jayson Vingoe, the CSI in the case who begins to realise that Cyrus isn’t all he seems. When a further murder occurs the investigations show a widespread southern syndicate of drugs and human trafficking which makes Cyrus even more nervous having escaped from something similar.

This is currently being edited and the book is due out sometime towards the end of 2017.

Check out Pat McDonald’s Amazon page.

 

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