A big welcome to my stop on the blog tour for The TV Detective by Simon Hall.
The TV Detective was published by Fahrenheit Press.
Dan Groves is a television reporter newly assigned to the crime beat and not at all happy about it.
Dan knows next nothing about police work or how to report on it so when he persuades Detective Chief Inspector Adam Breen to allow him to shadow a high-profile murder inquiry it seems like the perfect solution though it soon becomes clear some members of the police force have no intention of playing nice with the new boy.
With his first case Dan is dropped in at the deep-end. A man is killed in a lay-by with a blast through the heart from a shotgun. The victim is a notorious local businessman, Edward Bray, a man with so many enemies there are almost too many suspects for the police to eliminate.
As tensions rise between Dan and the police he comes close to being thrown off the case until the detectives realise that far from being a liability, Dan might actually be the key to tempting the murderer into a trap.
* * * * * * *
Thank you to Emma at Fahrenheit Press for inviting me to participate on the blog tour and for kindly arranging for me to share an extract with you today.
If I had more time in the day, I would have read the book but I will at some point in the future as I think it sounds absolutely brilliant!
‘The pack was already there. A dozen of them, clustered around a woman. They were hunched up in their coats, some sheltering beneath umbrellas, all taking notes. Dan recognized a few. Reporters from local papers, news agencies, websites and radio stations, photographers too.
Everyone knew. Everyone had been tipped off.
Everyone except him.
Dan swore to himself, pulled on a coat and jogged over. Rain splashed up his trousers and into his shoes.
The woman was short and squat, wearing a long mac which almost reached the ground. All the hacks were listening intently.
‘…so, we’re searching the lay by now. Then we’ll start going through everyone who might have had a reason to want him harmed.’
‘That’s a hell of a list,’ an older man grunted, prompting nods of agreement.
‘When do we get the snaps and quotes?’ one of the photographers asked.
‘When Chief Inspector Breen gets here. He won’t be long.’
Dan just had time to glimpse the other reporters’ notebooks. The pages were filled with writing. He’d only managed a title.
He looked around to see if he knew any of the other hacks. One woman was vaguely familiar.
‘Hello there,’ Dan said, above the noise of the rain. ‘It’s Kate, from the Daily Press isn’t it?’
‘Karen, from the Weekly News.’
‘Sorry, yes, of course. So, what did she say? The detective?’
‘Sorry, I can’t talk at the mo. Got to file some copy.’
Dan looked around for someone else to ask, anyone else. But the pack had gone back to their cars to shelter from the rain. He swore again and jogged back to his own car.
The time was coming up to nine. The late news was on air at half past ten. And so far, Dan had no facts and no pictures. Great.
A thumping on the window startled him. The flattened distortion of a chubby, beaming face pressed up against the glass. The door yanked open and a soaking figure tumbled onto the passenger seat.
Ellis Hughes liked his dramatic entrances. The photographer was renowned in the local media as Dirty El, a nickname he had worked hard to win.
‘Evening, Dan mate. Surprised to see you here. Is there some angle about the local wildlife being frightened off by the shooting?’
‘Not exactly. As of tonight, this is my bag. I’m on crime now.’
‘Yip, yip, yahoo!’ El reached out a dripping hand and shook Dan’s. ‘Welcome to the foul world of filth. Come on in, the dirt’s a delight. You’ll love it. Great to have you along.’
They’d been drinking buddies for years, El living just half a mile from Dan, but they never met on stories. The photographer wasn’t interested in the pretty animal and countryside tales that were Dan’s staple. The snaps that sold were the shockers, so where there was scandal there was El.
Which could now be very useful indeed.
‘What do you know about what’s happened?’ Dan asked.
El’s chipmunk face looked puzzled. ‘Didn’t you get that briefing?’
‘I got here too late.’
‘Didn’t you get a tip off?’
‘No,’ said Dan. ‘I didn’t get a tip off. I didn’t get a briefing. I didn’t get anything. Apart from maybe a cold, given the weather.’
‘So you don’t know zip? Yikes.’ El grabbed one of Dan’s scarves from the back seat and started drying himself off. ‘You got to get up to speed, mate. You’re so way behind you’re not even off the starting blocks. You’re trying to race Formula One in a Robin Reliant.’
Dan freed the scarf from El’s grip. It was his favourite. ‘So, what’s happened?’
‘It’s Bray, Dan mate. Big bad Edward Bray, the bastard businessman. He’s got his comeuppance. Someone’s potted him. Boom, boom, bye bye! It’s a corker of a story. Everyone’s gonna want the piccies. El’s bread’s in oven and it’s baking hot.’
The photographer’s eyes flicked to the darkness of the night, and he reached for the door. ‘Come on, let’s quickstep. I spy the big boss cop man coming.’
To follow the rest of the blog tour…..
You can buy The TV Detective direct from Fahrenheit Press:
About the Author
Simon Hall is an author and journalist.
He has been a broadcaster for twenty five years, mostly as a BBC Television and Radio News Correspondent, covering some of the biggest stories Britain has seen.
His books – the tvdetective series – are about a television reporter who covers crimes and gets so involved in the cases he helps the police to solve them. Seven have been published.
Simon has also contributed articles and short stories to a range of newspapers and magazines, written plays, and even a pantomime.
Alongside his novels and stories, Simon is a tutor in media skills and creative writing, teaching at popular Writers’ Summer Schools such as Swanwick and Winchester, on cruise ships and overseas.
Simon has also become sought after as a speaker, appearing at a variety of prestigious literary festivals. His talks combine an insight into his writing work, along with some extraordinary anecdotes from the life of a television reporter, including the now notorious story of What to do when you really need a dead otter.
Now 49 years old, he began a broadcasting career as a DJ on the radio and in nightclubs, then moved into radio and TV news. He worked in Europe, London, Ireland, and the south west of England, before settling in Cambridge.
Simon is married to Jess, Director of Libraries at the University of Cambridge, and has an adopted daughter, Niamh. She’s an army officer, which makes her father both very proud and very nervous.
Simon lectures on careers in the media at Cambridge University, and in schools and colleges. Amongst his proudest achievements, he includes the number of young people he has helped into jobs in broadcasting, and aspiring writers into publication.
As for his likes, Simon lists beer – he judges at real ale festivals – cycling the countryside, solving cryptic crosswords, composing curious Tweets and studying pop lyrics.
For more on Simon, see his website – www.thetvdetective.com
Simon’s Social Media:
Amazon Author Page: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Simon-Hall/e/B0034Q7NPC/ref=sr_ntt_srch_lnk_1?qid=1523989492&sr=1-1