Join me and other writers at the Evesham Festival of Words Bookshop Launch, Friday 16th June 7pm.

Following the success of last year’s event, join us again for the launch of the festival bookshop here at the Almonry.  Meet and hear extracts read by our bookshop authors and buy a copy of your favourites. Books will be on sale at the Almonry until 15th July. Free evening event.


The latest Birmingham cop DCI Matt Proctor crime thriller out soon. Hear Tom Bryson read from his new, fast-paced novel – the third in the Matt Proctor series.

DSC01764“Trapped in their own minds they must follow cult leader Gabriel Omoto – but to where and what? What “evil things” terrify young cult member Adele so much she won’t dare speak of them?

Cop Matt Proctor also has problems in his mind – he needs to get out of a rut and take on a big new challenge. Is he up to it? Or is the price too high?

Then there’s his spirited daughter Sarah to contend with – a young woman with a mind of her own, maybe too much a “chip off the old block”.

A fast-paced crime thriller with many twists and turns and a gripping climax.

The third novel in the DCI Matt Proctor series works as a stand-alone crime thriller.

COVER 6 NO WAY OUT-page-001


Dangerous? Edgy? Is it wise to use “hot” crime themes in your thriller/mystery novel?

What is Edgy writing?
What is Edgy writing?

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?

My latest crime novel “IN IT FOR THE MONEY” now published. Click title for detail/free sample.


Where to set your crime novel…

I attended an excellent crime novel writing event at the Portsmouth Festival (end Nov). Pauline Rowson gave a first class presentation on her approach to writing her detective Inspector Andy Horton novels. She sets her stories in the south coast of England – Portsmouth/Solent/Isle of Wight locations – that she knows intimately and the sense of place shines through as her detective protagonist pursues villains and solves crimes across real locations.

I like this idea of using settings that are well known to the writer and will strike chords with readers who are also familiar with the locations. Even if they don’t personally know the area, the detailed ‘feel’ of the writer for the places will bring them to life in a vivid manner.

In my own novel TOO SMART TO DIE, DCI Matt Proctor operates in Birmingham and the Black Country and I’ve been most encouraged by the feedback I’ve had from readers who say ‘I’ve been there, walked that street, know well the building where the murder happened’. This kind of connection holds a great appeal to regional readers (90% of the UK populations live outside the Met area!) and can imbue a story with a special feeling for them. (Crime writers like Nick Oldham and Ian Rankin, for example bring us graphic pictures of Lancashire and Edinburgh respectively.) However – the characters, the storytelling, pace and plot must be the primary concerns of the writer; the setting should be shown in snatches, be relevant and integrated and always carry the story forward, help drive the action.

A novel is not a travel guide.

Pauline Rowson’s website is

Click to view or sample TOO SMART TO DIE  on amazon.