Fighting Fantasy and the gateway to reading

It was impossible to ignore the Fighting Fantasy series of books as a kid in the 80s. I grew up in a home where imagination was nurtured, with books and stories, and a well-used library card, never far from hand. How could I not be drawn to these books?    For those who don’t know, […]


Thoughts on STAR WARS – THE RISE OF SKYWALKER

SPOILERS FOLLOW – I saw the latest Star Wars film over the Christmas holidays, and then, because it’s a Star Wars film, noticed the debate that sprang up around it.     Star Wars creates debate over and above any other series – over forty years of films, a massive extended universe, and a fandom that […]


Thoughts On THE VAULT And The Berlin Wall

It’s thirty years since the fall of the Berlin Wall – one of the key events of my lifetime, without a doubt, and the inspiration for my new story, THE VAULT. Even with the distance of time, it’s hard to overstate how monumental the Wall falling felt at the time, especially given what came before. […]


Bright Lights, Big City…

I’m writing this on a British Airways flight from Tenerife to London on my way back from our family holiday. It’s been a lovely break – I disengaged from work and did no writing – but, as July pushes on, it’s time to get back to my desk.   I’ve wanted to send Milton to […]


What Can You Expect From Me in 2019?

It’s going to be a busy year this year – and a lot of fun if you like my books.   So what do I have coming for you?   I’m just putting the finishing touches to the first book in a new detective series. The protagonist – Holden Priest – draws upon all the […]


Watch me on TV…

In case you missed it, I was recently interviewed on national television in the United Kingdom prior to the launch of the new John Milton novel, Sleepers.   I live and work in Salisbury, a beautiful mediaeval town that has recently found itself in the news after the attempted assassination of a Russian defector and […]


Milton is back – Sleepers is available for pre-order

I started planning the next Milton book as I was putting the finishing touches to the last one, Redeemer. I’d been planning to write something based around the case of Alexander Litvinenko, the ex-Russian spy who was allegedly poisoned by the SVR in 2006. You might remember that case: his tea was laced with radioactive […]


Making It Difficult For Myself

One of the things that’s particularly important to me when I’m writing is that my books are as authentic as I can make them. That has led to me getting into some scrapes now and again, and it’s also meant that I have possibly limited my market a little bit. Let me give you a […]


The accidental hero – is John Milton arrogant and incompetent?

One of the most common criticisms of The Cleaner that I see in reviews is that Milton is, basically, incompetent.   The suggestion is that an operative with his particular set of skills (hat tip to Liam Neeson) would not make the elementary errors that Milton makes. His tradecraft is sometimes lacking and he leaves […]


McCall, Bond and The Wire: my inspirations for Milton and The Cleaner

One of the questions that I get asked most often, and one that has already been asked in the Facebook group that I set up for the purposes of this book club, is where I got my inspiration for character of John Milton. The truth is that Milton came to me fairly easily. There are […]