Sword of Damocles

Sword of Damocles was born around 2007 in the form of script written for Yorkshire Television by myself and co-writer and good friend, Graeme Bottomley. It was to be a two-hour drama, and was the third episode of the four we’d already written.

Sometimes things don’t work out as planned though, and the drama department within YTV was scrapped (except for Emmerdale and Heartbeat) by ITV because the arse was about to fall out of the economy. But anyway, that’s a whole new story…

But I loved this tale; of the four it was my favourite and (sorry, I hate using clichés, but it happens to sit quite well here) ticked all the boxes for me.

I love my red pen
I love my red pen

There are many facets to this story. It’s not the longest book I’ve written by a long way; in fact it just scrapes over the 80k word mark – short by my standards. But inside you’ll find a continuation of Eddie’s life, beginning where we left off in Black by Rose with him working in the Major Crime Unit’s CSI department, and on a personal basis, with Eddie being in love with Ros. This idyllic situation doesn’t last long though – and really, when you’re writing a book, ‘idyllic’ is the death knell – you need change (something I hate).

On a professional basis, Eddie finds himself in hot water with those in authority, but has the tables turned somewhat by being promoted. So those he used to work alongside now dislike him! Not that they were exactly in love with him before, you understand. But it gives Eddie a new impetus in that he has to cure this problem before his whole department disintegrates. But you know Eddie, he’s not the kind of man who pussyfoots around.

Original artwork
Original artwork

After completing Black by Rose, I wondered if might be able to modify the script and adapt it to fit a novel format. I basically reviewed each of the 300 scenes that formed the script, chopped out the bits not pertinent to Eddie’s situation, chopped out the bits that didn’t focus entirely on the story I wanted, and welded what was left around Eddie’s current situation. I hope it worked.

The main plot begins with an apparent suicide in the most horrific of circumstances (I just had an email from one of my readers who said it put her right off the lasagne she was eating at the time!). But there are some anomalies that Eddie comes across. These pique his curiosity, and before long he’s like a dog with a bone – not willing to let it lie, despite pressure from above, until he’s reached the truth. And if reaching the truth means breaking the law, then so be it.

Final artwork
Final artwork

Eddie joins forced with his old enemy, DI Benson, and they both end up in hot water, and they both decide to go it alone rather than wait for the inevitable disciplinary action. As I’ve mentioned, there are several sub-plots running through the book, not least of which is Eddie’s estranged father, Charles. Charles is burgled and beaten, and practically made homeless. Eventually he tracks Eddie down, and reluctantly, Eddie invites him to stay. But that’s not the end of their story. Eddie can’t rest until the wrong done to his father is righted.

And here’s the blurb…

 Life has nothing to do with fate. Each event is part of you, becomes the blueprint of who you are. It’s inescapable.

Terry Shaw’s life is slipping through his grasp, and the tighter he grips, the faster his past catches up with him. It will either set him free at last. Or kill him.

Eddie Collins becomes a single man again. And worse, he’s given promotion. Eddie teams up with his enemy, DI Benson, to unravel the story behind a gruesome suicide that has its roots in the 70s. Together they must break the law to find the truth.

 

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Crime and thriller writing by a CSI