The New Pup at Bloodhound

A lot has happened since May, and what follows is a resume of those two months.

The latest CSI Eddie Collins novel, provisionally entitled The Death of Jessica Ripley continues to gather dust on the shelf here in the Writing Pad. I began it in March and blitzed through the first 25k words feeling excited and looking forward to seeing how Eddie handles his latest crisis. I can’t wait to get back on with it because it has the potential to be the best Eddie book I’ve written to date.

So why have I stopped writing it?

On the 19th May, I wrote this:

Bex stood on the back step looking at the door. It was open.

She never left it open. Billy never left it open either. The only time this door was unlocked was when they were going through it.

I wrote that and the subsequent fifty thousand words (to date) because I had begun negotiations with a publishing company called Bloodhound Books. They’d seen and liked the Eddie Collins books and wondered if I could create something entirely new, a standalone, just for them. Because I love a challenge, Dancing at the Devil’s Door (provisional title) was born.

It is far removed from my usual work. I had lost my lead man and his cast of supporting characters – I felt alone for the first time since Eddie came into my life around 2004. Thirteen years is a long time, and Eddie and I have grown to know each other pretty well, so being without him now is like setting off on an adventure without your best friend accompanying you.

Instead I’m travelling with a woman, Becky Rose (note the name change). I thought writing her would feel forced, but I needn’t have worried because writing a female a lead, this female lead, feels comfortable. Becky took some getting used to though, like meeting and working with a new person does in real life – for me anyway.


As I mentioned, there’s no sign of Eddie Collins anywhere in Devil’s Door (he’s furious!), in fact there’s no CSI involvement at all in this book; they don’t even warrant a mention. The police are featured in the book, of course – it’s a crime thriller, but not in any great depth, more on a personal level than a professional one. No, this book focuses entirely on its protagonist, Becky. And despite the early sample above, it’s now in first person.

For those of you who’ve read the Eddie Collins short stories, you’ll know I like to play with first person writing, but had always been afraid I couldn’t sustain it for an entire novel. Think about it; the writer cannot stray from inside that person’s head. He can only describe what she sees, hears, feels, and experiences; there’s no hopping over to a secondary story line to see what’s going on there either. It’s intense, it’s almost claustrophobic, and it’s extremely personal.

Bloodhound offered a contract based on the first two chapters (still in first draft!) and a hastily prepared synopsis of the rest of the book. Even the synopsis has a story: I didn’t have one – a synopsis, I mean. I usually write my books on the fly with no idea where they’re heading. I’ll stop half way through and try to make sense of what’s happening and where the story should logically go, but I didn’t have that luxury with Devil’s Door. So I had to think a long way ahead and consider how it might pan out. And having a scene list to follow has been a good thing for me; it’s allowed me to crack on with the writing rather than pause and consider too much.

I’m still buzzing about the chance of working with the people at Bloodhound – they have a splendid reputation. I don’t know what the future holds, but I’ll keep you posted (hopefully a little more promptly next time). Whatever happens, I’ll be back on Jessica Ripley very soon.


The Note – Latest News

I have some good news to share.

In celebration of The Note being in the Hot New Release chart – right now it’s #5 in the United States, and here in the UK, it’s sandwiched between Ragnar Jonasson and Val McDermid – I’m dropping the price to 99cents/99pence until the end of May.

In the twenty-one days since its release, The Note has done phenomenally well, and readers like you have loved the story enough to give some quite spectacular reviews*. People have taken this little book to their hearts, and I’d like to see the momentum continue by offering it for as little as possible to those who’ve yet to experience it.

The Note is exclusive to Amazon.

To grab your copy in the US, click here.

To grab your copy in the UK, click here.

To grab your copy everywhere else, click here.

If you’ve already read and enjoyed The Note, please do me a huge favour and leave your review. The number of reviews and the overall rating really makes a huge difference; if it comes to Amazon’s attention, they’ll help with advertising and marketing, and of course it’ll help other potential readers take a closer look too.

If you’ve left your review in your home country, thank you, but would you be kind enough to copy it across to Amazon’s UK site?

Please click here to leave your review.

The Note has 96 reviews in the UK (average 4.8). Let’s see if we can break the 100 barrier. How about the 120 barrier? We can do this with your help.

In the last email, I said I would give away a paperback copy to two people who’d been kind enough to leave a comment on any Amazon site. I’m extending it until the beginning of June to give people more chance. And I’ll be giving away three copies, not two – chosen at random.

*Here’s a selection of some of the latest reviews.

  • Despite being only a short story, this is one of the most enjoyable crime thrillers I have read. Lots of suspense and humour from Eddie’s point of view, and nice twists at the end.
  • A very clever play with words combined with complex but believable characters kept me enraptured from start to finish.
  • Loved it, it’s use of a mixed ensemble of characters even down to grammar correction, had me spellbound but laughing simultaneously. Thoroughly enjoyable and recommend to all
  • I am not usually a fan of short stories, just as you are getting into them, they are over. This one is different, the compelling storyline immediately drags you in and hits you with twist after twist, and with the dark humour of Eddie Collins thrown in, you will not be able to put it down! This is easily the best short story I have read and would recommend it to anyone, The climax is quite brilliant!
  • Loved this short story!! It was full of twist and turns and heart pounding action. I love any story that makes your adrenaline start racing and The Note did this to me. Andrew Barrett is an amazing writer and anyone who likes a book you can’t put down this one is for you.

There are dozens and dozens more. Please hop over to your local Amazon store here and take a look.

That’s all from me for now. I’ll be back again in a week or two, and I’ll share with you news of how The Note has progressed. I sincerely hope it will be good news, and I know with your help it can be.

I wish you a wonderful weekend filled with sunshine, happiness, and reading.


Price Drops and News

We got drenched at Whitby yesterday, but it didn’t stop us building sandcastles on the deserted beach. Today is beautiful though so I envisage a squelch through the mud in our local woodland.

I have a few items of news for you today that might make for a great weekend if you’re struggling for something to read.

For the first and possibly the last time, I’m promoting CSI Eddie Collins’s first two books simultaneously. So you can get hold of The Third Rule and Black by Rose for 99cents/99pence each at Amazon, Kobo, B&N, and iBooks. That’s a 600-page epic and a detailed 5-star read for less than the price of a coffee. I should point out that this offer won’t be available for long, and it’s unlikely I’ll run it again.

You can get your copies here…

The Third Rule at Amazon US

The Third Rule at Amazon UK

The Third Rule at Amazon worldwide

The Third Rule at all other retailers

Black by Rose at Amazon US

Black by Rose at Amazon UK

Black by Rose at Amazon worldwide

Black by Rose at all other retailers

I also want to thank you for your support in launching Eddie’s new short story, The Note. In just over two weeks, it has 108 reviews in the US, and 91 in the UK, both with a staggering 4.8 average.

It blazed a trail right into the top of the Hot New Release chart in the UK and the US on the day it was launched, 5th May. And it’s still in that chart today. It has some wonderful reviews too and has really struck a chord with readers worldwide.

I wasn’t going to give notice of its price increase, but I think it only fair, especially since we have an influx of new members to the Reader’s Group recently.

Without doubt this has been one of the best book launches I’ve ever had, and the book wouldn’t have been so very popular without your help, thank you!

The Note is exclusive to Amazon and is available in Kindle Unlimited.

If you don’t already have The Note in ebook, now is your chance to add this to your weekend reading list while it’s still less than a dollar/pound, and see why a top 50 reviewer is calling The Note one of the most enjoyable crime thrillers he has read.

The Note at Amazon US

The Note at Amazon UK

The Note at Amazon worldwide

Have you heard of The Kindle Storyteller? It’s a competition run in the UK by Amazon and is open to newly published stories until 19th May. I’ve entered The Note but it could do with your help to get it recognised by the judges.

Reviews play a very important part and so I’d ask that if you’ve read The Note could you please leave a review here and just scroll to ‘Write a customer review’. It doesn’t have to be a long review, just a line or two, and will make all the difference.

If you’re kind enough to leave a comment on any of the Amazon sites after having read The Note, you will be entered into a draw to win one of two signed paperback copies. I’ll publish the winning comments (drawn by Ellie, my two-year-old daughter) in the next newsletter and will ask the winners to get in touch by email with their postal address within two weeks from the date of the newsletter. Good luck, and a sincere thanks for your support.

Last month was very special for me. I was awarded a Long Service medal by West Yorkshire Police for 20 years’ as a CSI (it’s actually 21 years now!). I never thought I’d make it this far, and if I’m honest it doesn’t seem 20 years since I joined up – that’s how much this career eats away at life. It’s been a tremendously rewarding time, and I feel very proud to work for UK law enforcement.

I’ve been trying to find a photograph of my first days in the service, but it looks like my computer ate them all!



The Note

Coming soon, The Note.

“Sarcasm and black humour, action aplenty, this is a winner.”

I can’t begin to tell you how much I enjoyed writing CSI Eddie Collins’ new short story. Well, actually I can, and so I shall. I wrote The Lift in 2015 and got a kick out of my first real attempt at writing in first person. After the launch of Ledston Luck earlier this year, I thought it time I revisited a short I’d written at the back end of 2016. This became known as The Note.

“There is a lot of dark humour in this which had me laughing aloud.”

I enjoyed reading it, and was quite fired up by the whole story-line, and the characters who come out to play with Eddie.

I made some amendments – made the ending less abrupt, and generally tidied it up. It’s twice as long as The Lift, and for me it’s twice as enjoyable.

“Power-packed, explosive introduction to Eddie Collins.”

Back in 2015 I found the whole idea of writing a short story daunting. It’s very different from writing a novel, having to keep your eye on one character and keeping the arcs short, the focus tight, and the theme in mind, really concentrates your mind. Add to that the complexities of writing in first person and you get an instant buzz.

The Note is jam packed with drama, hard hitting and often brutal scenes, twists and turns abound make this a highly charged story.”

And so, it seems, have many other people. I sent it to my readers last week, and the response has been nothing short of phenomenal. I’m really grateful to them; they have given me the confidence to think about next year’s short, and removed any doubt I had that people don’t like short stories.

“The story was gripping, the emotional turmoil facing Eddie was palpable throughout. You felt the tense nervousness gripping him over the few short hours the story covers. The dialogue is believable, clear, without affectations and not contrived.”

Friday 5th May 2017 – launch day.

A new CSI Eddie Collins story – The Note

There’s a rumour going round that a new CSI Eddie Collins story is about to break free.

I can confirm that rumour is true! It’s called The Note.

It’s not a full length novel, it only weighs in at a shade under 13k words, which is about 65 pages or so. But, like The Lift, it’s written in first person, so it’ll seem an even quicker read just because of that.

And it is fast – I’ve written it with no fat or padding, it races from one scene to the next, and I think you’ll enjoy the final scenes especially.

I really enjoy writing Eddie, as you know, and I really enjoy writing short stories from his point of view – it’s very refreshing. I’ve said in previous interviews that I don’t think I could sustain first person writing for an entire novel, and I still believe that to be true – it’s just too exhilarating, and too claustrophobic. But a short is perfect.

Again, as in The Lift, he has no extra baggage, there’s no Charles to worry about, no one from the office to bother us, it’s just us, him, and the story.

I’ve written the blurb, and I’ve prepared a cover image, and now all I have to do is re-read the story once more, maybe tweak it here and there, and then I’ll send it out to my advance readers for their opinions.

If all goes well, I hope to have it on the virtual and physical bookshelves around the 5th May.

I’ll edit this post when I can show you the cover (it’s still under wraps), but for now, please read the blurb, and I’d love to know your reaction to it.

The Note

I’m Eddie Collins, a CSI.

Ever had that feeling of being watched but when you turn around no one’s there?

I did.

It was raining, and I was working a murder scene around midnight when that prickle ran up my spine. If I’d listened to that feeling, if I’d thought back to my past, maybe I could have prevented the terror that was to come.

Back at the office, I found a death threat on my desk.

I had no idea who sent it, or why they wanted to kill me.

But I was about to find out.

BBC Interviews, February and March 2017

Being interviewed via email is so very easy, and I really enjoy them too! I have time to think about my answers, about how I’d like to come across depending upon the tone of the questions.

But in February, BBC Radio Leeds contacted me and asked if I’d like to do an interview on the radio! No way could I refuse – how often does a request like this land in my inbox? But, if truth be known, I wasn’t looking forward to it. As well as email interviews, I don’t mind one-to-one questioning; in fact I quite enjoy it. But speaking to an audience of thousands on the air! I was petrified.

But then I relaxed a little because it was a pre-recorded interview. I could make as many blunders as I liked and none of them would ever make it out alive. As it turned out, the lady interviewing me, Gayle Lofthouse, was a true professional, and she kept the nerves at bay.

It was a short interview, but I’m very grateful to her and BBC Radio Leeds for the chance to speak with her.

Here’s a link to the Gayle Lofthouse show. I hope you enjoy listening to me squirm!

But if I was petrified by a pre-recorded interview, imagine how I felt when I got an email asking if I’d like to appear on the radio live! Andrew Edwards’s producer contacted me with a view to doing a live interview on the 6th March, for his Book Hour show.

My nervousness steadily increased. And so did the bad case of man-flu I was suffering from too. It became so bad that on the 5th I had to ring and cancel – I could barely speak. All those sweaty palms were for nothing. The BBC though were very understanding, and we re-scheduled the torture for the following Monday – right before I was due to start work. I’d have to take my uniform to the studio with me, and drive like a madman in order to get to work on time.

Bear in mind that I talk gibberish (my lady, Sarah, calls it wobbly-gob!) when I’m under pressure, and you’ll understand why I get so giddy on air during my time there. I was terrified, and sometimes when I’m terrified I’m liable to break out in the odd bout of swearing. And this thought just added to the terror.

I needn’t have worried too much though, as Gayle before him, Andrew was a consummate pro, and he guided me along quite nicely. You might notice that he threw in a low-baller right at the end, and I was flummoxed; couldn’t think straight and so I said the first thing that came to mind, and wish I hadn’t. Tom Cruise? Really? Sorry, Tom.

In fact, the interview went so well that, while he was playing some music, Andrew asked if I’d like to extend it. He had a pre-recorded interview with another author lined up, but said he’d play that another day. I’d never get asked this kind of question again, and so I agreed, knowing I was in real danger being late for work.

So the ten minute session turned into twenty-five minutes. But that didn’t make me late for work. What did make me late was that I’d forgotten my boots, and so I had to drive home for them anyway. Tut.

Here’s the link to the Andrew Edwards interview.

Note, these files are very large. Google will give you the option of downloading them in order for you to listen them.

Crime and thriller writing by a CSI