Former CID detective with the Avon and Somerset Constabulary James D Mortain has launched his fourth novel. The event was hosted by in Bideford by Walter Henry‘s bookshop manager Fiona Chope and staff.
One special guest was Fleur Phillips who was a winner in James’s “Win your name in my next novel” competitions. He used Fleur’s name for one of the major characters in the book – DC Fleur Phillips is the OIC (Officer in the Case) and responsible for the ongoing investigation, and so her named character was crucial to the thread of the story.
Fleur is not alone in having her name in the novel – Julie Foster is another local winner who was literally sitting on her prize at his Appledore Book Festival event last September, after James planted a random seat in the audience with the prize stuck underneath the chair. Julie’s named character also has a significant role in the book, not least, as the main character’s boss.
James told Ray Goldsmith: “It gives me great pleasure to use the real names of the prize winners in my stories and see their reactions – and not just once – previous winners; Ruby Mansell and Nathan Parsons have appeared in more than one book – in fact, Nathan is enjoying a promotion in Dead Ringer.
“Can I say a huge thank you to everyone who braved the social fears of these uncertain and scary times to visit Walter Henry’s Bookshop for the book launch. It was fantastic to see so many die-hard supporters of my books and a few new faces too. I would also like to thank Fiona and all the helpful staff at the bookshop.”
Dead Ringer is set in Bristol, but also sees the investigation taking the officers to Glastonbury, Windsor and Eton and to a lesser extent, Chepstow and Nottingham.
James turned his hand to writing crime fiction following a chance meeting with ex-SAS veteran and international best-selling author, Chris Ryan in 2012. He had never considered writing until this point, but set about his first best selling page-turner the very next day.
James writes two quite different styles of crime thriller – the Kindle best-selling Detective Deans Mystery Series, which has an otherworldly, paranormal arc of intrigue and menace to keep readers on edge with realistic police action, spooky twists and shocking horrors. And now, Dead Ringer heralds the start of a new series set on the streets of Bristol, featuring old-school maverick cop, DI Robbie Chilcott, on the hunt for a cold-blooded and methodical serial killer.
Having mostly worked as a police officer in Bath, but also on a murder investigation in Bristol, James draws upon extensive first-hand experience and knowledge to lure readers into his stories and make them feel that they are living the action.
His first series has become a Kindle bestseller both in the UK and overseas. With a fast-paced style of writing, James’ books will appeal to fans of contemporary British crime fiction who either want to be scared senseless or experience an authentic, thrilling crime mystery.
Here’s the synopsis of Dead Ringer:
When the discarded body of a young woman sparks a desperate manhunt on the streets of Bristol, striking similarities to another murder suggest there’s only one detective for the job. And it doesn’t take DI Robbie Chilcott long to establish a shocking link between the victims: both were daughters of SAS veterans. If Chilcott is to gain an advantage and end the bloodshed, he must break from the shackles of law and place his trust in one of the most secretive and tight-knit military units. But will they turn on one of their own?
Dead Ringer is out now in paperback and on Amazon Kindle. The book is also available at Urban Wave Hairdressers, Northam, The Beach Shop, Westward Ho! Walter Henry’s bookshop, soon at Everything Westward, and on James’ website at: http://www.jamesdmortain.com
top image: James with Fiona Chope, shop manager
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