The light was fading and rain lashed down in front of the Astra’s headlights as Detective Inspector Tom Blake and Detective Sergeant John Murphy came to a standstill at the top of a long, litter-strewn alleyway that ran behind a row of boarded-up terraced houses on Wells Street, Middleport. The once-thriving industrial area was pencilled in for regeneration by the council, but money from central government hadn’t materialised. Like most of old Stoke-on-Trent from the turn of the nineteenth century, factories and workers’ houses nearby were in a poor state of repair. Years of neglect had seen to that. The two detectives felt sorry for those elderly residents who’d clung to the glories of a past of full employment and thriving community. Now they lived amid empty terraced houses and an influx of East Europeans looking for unskilled work.
‘You reckon Denzel Glennie is back at it, then?’ DI Blake asked his DS, John Murphy.
‘Sex cases like him don’t change, despite what the shrinks say. They can’t be healed. He’s got a taste for knocking prostitutes around. He gets off on it. His stash of Viagra was in double figures last time we arrested him,’ Murphy said.
‘The office manager uses it.’
Murphy grinned, ‘Nick Pemberton’s on the blue diamonds?’
‘Says he needs them to keep pace with all these MILFs he’s dating. Says they’re hornier than any under-twenty-fives he’s been with,’ Blake said.
‘Jesus! Evermore likely his missus won’t take him back. ’
‘Anyway, this is Glennie’s stomping ground. There’ve been several reports of dealing and soliciting in this area over the last two weeks. The old lady in number sixty-eight there is petrified. She’s told PC Haynes she doesn’t go out after dark. Seeing Glennie with his pants down was the last straw for her.’
‘I don’t blame her, look at the state of this place.’ DS Murphy flicked on the wipers to wash away another deluge from the windscreen.
‘Hopefully, this bloody lot will ease up. Don’t fancy getting soaked. Which property is the dealing going on at?’
‘See that brown wheelie bin?’ Murphy pointed to the stranded bin leaning against a wall. ‘The working girls are using a row of three terraced in the middle there. They’re most likely knocked through. Like those cannabis farms the Drug Squad raided in Longton last month.’
About the author
I grew up in Stoke-on-Trent and spent many years doing less than ideal jobs in and around the Potteries five towns, before finally taking the plunge and quitting work to follow my creative side. As a keen horse-racing fan, I started off in 2007 self-publishing betting how-to manuals. This is my main business, but my real passion is for crime fiction, both reading and writing.
Inspired by authors such as Mel Sherratt, Peter James, Val McDermid, James Oswald, Kate Ellis, Martina Cole and Ian Rankin, and in need of a new challenge, I decided to try my hand at writing crime fiction.
After months of hard slog and sheer determination, I finished my first novel: The Killer Shadow Thieves. This is the first in a planned series of gritty crime fiction books set in Stoke on Trent, involving charismatic DI Tom Blake and his larger-than-life sidekick DS Jon Murphy.
The follow-up, The Deadly Legacy, is a cult serial killer thriller, with a 200-year-old secret at the heart of a plot full of unexpected twists, which push the relationships of a rich pottery family into life-threatening conflicts.
I write tense, gripping, crime fiction mysteries with a twist – or urban crossbreed, as I call it. My thrillers take you deep inside the criminal mind.
I live with my wife and family in Stoke-on-Trent, England. You can find out more about me at…