Dangerous? Edgy? Is it wise to use “hot” crime themes in your thriller/mystery novel?
How do writers feel writing about, for example, US gun laws, drive by/campus shootings, pro-life/ pro-choice extremism, etc. I’ve chosen to write about “fixing” in sport in my latest crime novel – match/spot fixing and international crime gambling syndicates. This scourge hits many sports – baseball, football, cricket and more. How safe would you feel writing about well-known “corporates” using tax evasion/avoidance to beat government tax laws…or a story about putting ‘dodgy’ bankers/corrupt politicians in jail…or celebrity, high profile sex abusers…or should we stick in the “cozy- safe” groove of homicide and serial killers (Irony intended!)? And what kind of stories do crime/thriller/mystery readers want to experience?
This latest novel in the DCI Matt Proctor series covers the dangerous – and murderous – criminal world of international gambling match and spot-fixing syndicates, a big current issue in cricket, football, and other sports. Readers of the first Matt Proctor novel, ‘TOO SMART TO DIE’, will again appreciate a well-written, gripping crime story set in recognisable English West Midlands locations.
DCI Matt Proctor thinks his gambling luck has changed on a sunny day out at the races. However, Lady Luck becomes a witch when he goes to collect his winnings. Two balaclava covered hitmen storm the betting shop. The bookmaker’s head disintegrates when he is shot at close range. Proctor’s investigations open a Pandora’s Box into sport corruption, match, spot fixing and violence. His life and those of his close friends and police team are in grave danger.
After the violent murder of Birmingham bookmaker Harry McGeady, Proctor – with his attractive colleague, Detective Inspector Azzra Mukherjee , a striking character that readers will recall from the first Matt Proctor novel – track the killers. They hunt down an international gambling syndicate led by ruthless Serbian mafia boss Slobodan Stankvitch, that takes them from England to Pakistan. They, in turn become the hunted.
However, Proctor soon discovers real power rests with ‘grey suits’ in sport boardrooms and directors’ boxes – and wheeler-dealer sports agents. He and Azzra must also deal with their own relationship issues and Azzra’s brother Ali’s links to jihadist groups.
Tom Bryson’s other books include stand-alone thriller SARCOPHAGUS, a stark story set in England and Chernobyl, Ukraine. He also wrote THE ZEPPELIN OF KINVER EDGE – a story of a young Kinver man’s dangers and misfortunes when he sees a German Zeppelin airship land on Kinver Edge in 1916 in WW 1 for emergency repairs.
Tom plans to write a series of Matt Proctor crime novels. He says, ‘I believe the potential for great stories and drama set in Birmingham and the West Midlands is much neglected. The success of the TV series “Peaky Blinders” is a case in point.’ ‘In it for The Money’
is available in print and e-book format (for all e-readers) from Amazon and selected outlets. For more information about the author and his writing, click links below.