The inspiration for ‘Next Victim’ came from the stories of the ‘Manchester pusher’. The alleged serial killer who stalks the canal banks of central Manchester looking for likely victims. Four bodies have been pulled from the stretch that runs along Canal Street itself in the last decade. Manchester city has about ten miles of canals, dating back to its industrial heyday.
However, as the tale took form, it changed somewhat. There is a serial killer, but his prey is more focused than the drunken reveller who strays from his friends on the way home from a night out. Besides which, GMP have no proof that there is a ‘pusher’ at all.
I kept the Canal Street location for part of the book. One victim is picked up there, and for the second it is the meeting place. I also used the Rochdale canal as a dumping ground.
Canal Street in Manchester is the hub of the Gay Village. A colourful street of bars and eateries that runs alongside the Rochdale Canal. It is a magnet for the gay community and others looking for a night out, particularly in the summer months.
DCI Rachel King is a feisty redhead, divorcee who has worked hard to fulfil her ambition to be a detective. But it hasn’t been easy. She has two teenage daughters, one who has type one diabetes and needs careful monitoring. The other is at a local university. Both are headstrong girls and Rachel gets her fair share of grief. She copes because her ex-husband, Alan, lives next door and helps with the girls. He lives in hope of a reconciliation, Rachel does not.
The big love in Rachel’s life is a man she met many years ago while at university. But he is a man denied to her because of who he is and things he’s done. Her past relationship with him is her closest secret.
I very often look to the news for inspiration for my books and am looking at another local story for the second Rachel King tale. The location, Manchester city, is a very different environment from the other books I’ve written and gives a deal more scope.
MEET DETECTIVE RACHEL KING IN THIS BRAND NEW CRIME SERIES.
young man’s body is found burnt and tortured by a Manchester canal. Detective Rachel King investigates. But she has a secret, the love of her life is a well-known villain. He has recently come back on the scene. But what does he really want?
A brutal serial killer with a taste for good-looking young blonde men.
A student who believes she has a lost brother. But even her own father doesn’t believe her. She was involved with the first victim.
As the murders continue, can Rachel keep her family together and stop the killer? #NextVictim #NetGalley #JoffeBooks
RELEASED 17th Jan
· Retweeted Sarah Hardy (@sarahhardy681):
Dead Bad by Helen H Durrant @hhdurrant @JoffeBooks
#TeamJoffeBooks https://t.co/wNWGACWbqG via @ljwrites85
#BlogTour Dead Bad by Helen H Durrant @hhdurrant @JoffeBooks #TeamJoffeBooks
Title: Dead Bad by Helen H Durrant Publisher: Joffe Books Date Published: 7th May 2018 Genre: Mystery/Thriller Description: Looking for a brilliant best-selling crime mystery with great detectives?…
Launched this week at the special price of only 0.99 - so don't miss out!
The book is already in the Amazon top 100 in the UK and has gained good reviews.
The front cover is taken from an image of a local pub - now no longer exists - I think! It was high on the tops - the Horse and Jockey was it's name. I've had no end of comments from the locals who all recognise it!
Detectives Calladine and Bayliss face a vicious serial killer in a mystery with a shocking ending.
A woman’s body is found in a disused church, a homemade stuffed toy by her side. The victim had been dumped there months ago. The crime has the hallmarks of twenty-year-old case whose alleged perpetrator is in prison.
Detective Ruth Bayliss must work out whether a serial killer has returned, or if a new killer is just taunting the police.
Her partner DI Tom Calladine faces the fight of his life to clear his name of corruption accusations. And then things go from bad to worse for Calladine . . .
With the team under massive pressure and drugs flooding the streets, another gruesomely presented body is found.
Writing is a huge passion of mine. I dedicate a lot of time to it, but there is something else that I enjoy almost as much – bird watching. This isn’t new. I’ve had my head stuck in the window watching birds in my back garden for years. These days I’m very fortunate to live in a house with a wooded area at the back, so my visitors are numerous and varied. I don’t only watch, I photograph too. (Not very well!) I use a ‘trail cam’ which I place strategically in the garden.
When I first got into this, decades ago, the birds were mostly starlings and sparrows. Not anymore. These days it’s more likely to be all members of the tit family, finches, corvids, wood pigeons, the odd rarity, plus the more familiar robins and blackbirds. The last sparrow I saw was in Spain! So, something has gone wrong.
It is bird behaviour that fascinates me. Having put out food I wait and watch. And believe me, they are watching me from the trees too. First to bounce down onto my lawn is a magpie. A bird whose beauty belies his vicious reputation. He struts over my grass picking up everything he can. Often he flies away to scoff the lot in peace. But if it’s late on in the day he buries some among my flowers. He pecks away at the soil with his beak, makes a hole and then deposits the morsel for later. I’d no idea they did this. I googled it, and sure enough, it is in their pattern of behaviour.
They argue. There is no sharing. The pecking order isn’t what you might think either. Big, beefy Jackdaw is easily scared off by a gentle looking collared dove. Wood pigeons stand no nonsense from any of them. Robin thinks he owns the place, as does the blackbird. He even sees off his wife!
Among the rarities, as I call them, are the lesser spotted woodpecker. A beautiful bird and so cute when he brings his babies for the first time. Another, the jays, particularly the baby ones. This spring I’ve had a flock of long tailed tits. They crash into the feeder mob-handed leaving no room and no food for anything else! Another couple I love is Mr and Mrs Bullfinch. He is the pretty one with his striking red plumage. She is a mere sepia version of him. But he is very attentive, lets her feed first while he keeps a wary eye, and they always come together.
I cater for the ground feeders, blackbirds particularly, and I have hanging feeders around the garden. Birds can be very acrobatic when they want food! I give them a mix – basic bird seed, oat flakes, suet pellets, mealworm. The absolute favourite for everything is sunflower hearts. Mr Blackbird is keen on fruit, grapes and apples.
I have seen them through a particularly harsh winter. Cleared the snow to feed them, smashed the ice on my little pond so they could drink. But their number is diminished. Hopefully the babies will appear soon and we’ll start again.