WHERE can you get a copy? Answer: any online bookstore! WHEN? As an eBook from 8th MARCH; as a paperback from 28th MARCH. (Pre-orders now being accepted)
The crime that originally inspired me to write The Murder Tree took place in 1862. But for the main part I set my story in 2010, focussing on people in present day Glasgow, Perth and Inverness, as well as across the pond in the USA. These were my fictional heroes and villain, but the settings were locations from a familiar world. When it came to my second novel, the historical events surrounding the sinking of Titanic occupy a relatively small amount of the story. For the most part the narrative is set in 2016, principally in Manchester, Lancashire and Merseyside.
But I set the opening chapters in Northern Ireland in 1985. Why?
Three things: Titanic was born in Belfast; the wreck was found at the bottom of the Atlantic in September; and in November the Anglo-Irish Agreement signalled the beginning of the end for The Troubles.
Controversy and drama accompanied all three.
I felt this was the ideal starting point for a political thriller. A British agent is sent to kill a dissident Irish police officer, and to destroy documents that could threaten the peace treaty. But the full scope of the mission has not been officially sanctioned. The man who ordered it, Cabinet minister Peter Gris, has his own personal agenda, and this is just the beginning of a mounting body count.
Thirty years later, as Britain faces political upheaval from the European referendum, Peter Gris remains an influential figure in the Conservative Party. But a loose end from 1985 returns to threaten his future, and the author of a new book about Titanic appears to be the source. Billie Vane unwittingly puts his own life at risk by helping the author, following a trail that leads him back to his home city of Manchester, before an explosive conclusion at the railway station in Preston.
But at the heart of this story are the disastrous events from 1912. The question of how Titanic came to hit an iceberg in the middle of the Atlantic is what intrigues Billie Vane in the first place. Was the sinking a simple matter of bad luck? Or did tragedy strike as a result of plans that were criminally ambitious?
The Titanic Document blends historical facts with imaginative fiction, and ultimately it is up to the reader to decide whether the real truth has finally surfaced.
COMING NEXT: Titanic facts and myths – and the discovery of a secret in plain sight.
Need to know:
I don’t just write fiction.