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Books to Inspire the Imagination

Thriller novels

Grave Digging

Estimated pages: 82

Kindle version: $0.99/£0.99p

Grave Digging


Suitable for teens upwards, and contains no strong language or explicit sex.


In 1969, Helen Goodland ran for her life from London after discovering the man she loved was a murderer. She returns 20 years later, because of work and a divorce, to recall her old haunts and first love affair so she can write her biography. Her book might become the only record to question the unexplained disappearance of several young women.

Helen quickly discovers that digging up old skeletons is dangerous when she bumps into Hal in the street. This time, she has nowhere to run.


Grave Digging is a tension-building story of undiminished first love. While warily renewing their old friendship, Helen recalls their first meeting and blossoming romance of 20 years earlier. As she remembers how those old suspicions grew, she now hears confirmation of her fears from the man she still loves. The final truth leaves her barely hours to ensure her future happiness.


Nothing looks familiar, I thought with a sinking heart as I peered through the taxi's window.

   Only the early-autumn sunshine bore any resemblance to those faraway memories. Then I noticed the building. The chemist's shop seemed unchanged, as did the flat above. My stomach dropped and I suddenly questioned my motives for choosing to come here. Was I right to dig up the skeletons of my past? This was not simply a nostalgic visit to old haunts. I was going to spend the next year here. Here of all places. The same place I had left so hurriedly twenty-one years earlier in fear for my life.

   The taxi driver dumped my bags onto the pavement and held out his hand. After paying him, I glanced around. I must have gasped aloud when I saw the boarding on the corner opposite because a man frowned at me as he passed.

   They can't still be building that place, I thought.

   As I had run for my life, I had passed those poster-covered boards that hid the erection of shops and flats. Urban redevelopment, they had called it. Now, different posters covered new boards behind which they were busily demolishing that same development.

   Perhaps little has changed after all.


Author's Notes:

As my years increase, I often think back to the magical years immediately after leaving school. Apart from the managers in my first job, most staff were school leavers or a year or two older. We lived far apart, catching trains to different parts of London, Chatham and as far as Gravesend. Some had moved to London to find jobs, and they shared a flat. The turnover in staff was fairly high, but time moved slower at that age. Yet the sudden disappearance of some girls was strange.

Grave Digging is purely fiction, and the characters never existed. The crossroads at the bottom of Blackheath Hill no longer exists, and all the buildings disappeared long ago. Girls ran off with boyfriends, or quit their job at a moment's notice, and no questions were ever raised after the initial shock. Yet those times did start my mind thinking "what if?".

The plot appeared easily, and the characters are typical of the time. With that settled, only one question remained. The story left me no choice but to write as the heroine in the first person. Because she does not know everything, neither does the reader. We all learn together as we follow the clues and reminiscences. Although this shortens the story to a novella, because I could not include other views or action from another viewpoint (wanting to keep this as Helen's story), it does keep the pace going, building towards the page-turning climax.

The Seventh Seal

Tags: terrorists, assassination, biological warfare, mass murder

Estimated pages: 288

Kindle version: $2.99/£1.99


Thank you to Linda for producing the 'Seal' from my poor description.

Also a thank you to my late brother-in-law who unwittingly gave me a wealth of information on a pilotless, programmable and small helicopter. Although I had already decided on the type of delivery system, its size and shape etc, he had independently researched and produced plans for a similar craft. His in-depth knowledge of the stresses involved, programming, wind sheer etc, allowed me to include detail I would not otherwise have been able to do.

The Seventh Seal


Includes violence (including each stage of illness of a person suffering from weaponised smallpox exposure, which might be upsetting), and some strong language.


The Seventh Seal is a fast-paced action thriller that races across England, Holland and Norway.


Eleven young men from different countries meet at a beer festival in Germany in 1968. They are rebellious after finishing university, knowing they must start their careers in the industrial empires built by their fathers. The similarities go deeper. Their group will remain their secret, and they intend to protect the planet before mankind's greed destroys the ecology. Within four years, four of their number die, proving their aims are right. The remaining seven plan seven stages, each of which they sign and seal with their special rings. By the time their children leave university, they have completed six stages, but their efforts at reducing the population by controlled means have failed. Their brainwashed children cannot wait. They produce new viruses and delivery systems. When they test a biological weapon on a town, they force their parents to open the Seventh Seal. Only the Family and their employees, which includes army and security service personnel, will survive, and the children kill any who stand in their way. One microbiologist escapes and sends short, cryptic messages to his sister and an old friend. Neither know the other exists, and the messages state they must trust nobody. Now the Family must find and kill those he contacted.


Helena realises she must trust Rick until she can find safety, but the Family leaves her nowhere to run or hide. Finding they need to depend on each other, they must discover the Family's secrets and find a way to pass their knowledge to a trustworthy source. The Family are never far away, forcing them to keep moving. Yet each skirmish leaves them weaker.


Eva works in her parent's bar in a small German town. The bout of flu is the worst she can remember. Then she is in a steadily-filling isolation ward. The World Health Organisation stated they had eradicated smallpox in 1978, but that is what they say she has. Thousands more fill hospitals and various empty buildings needed to house them. While Helena and Rick fight for their lives, Eva tries to fight for her own life.


Author's Note:

I had scoured many sources for the production, storage and dispersal of biological weapons for the novel Deserve to Die. Many tests have been done by many nations over many years, including dropping glass bottles in the street. Most methods are harmless because weather conditions , the sun etc destroy the viruses. Accidents have happened, the biggest probably being the release of anthrax in Russia, then respread accidentally by someone who later became their leader! The Japanese were probably the worst for tests on humans (prisoners of war) and dispersal (using pottery jars dropped from aircraft over China). Yet all nations are guilty, using the excuse of 'deterrent' and suchlike to make them feel better. Western nations use the US form of building for production, while Eastern nations generally use the Russian form. Yet 'mobile' units exist and are ideally suited for smaller nations and terrorists.

The dangers of determined, large-scale attacks is as terrifying as nuclear war was in the 60s. I felt the need to write a novel showing the full horrors of what could happen. All 'testing' and storage of these viruses is potentially lethal to mankind (and who is to say that Aids was not caused by a perverted 'test', although this is probably from eating wild animals in Africa.).

Although Eva was only a necessary character at the start of the novel, I have returned to her throughout the book to show the horrors from an infected individual's viewpoint. The other main characters may dislike me for the pain and anguish I put them through, but poor Eva must hate me. Sorry, my dear.

This was originally to be the fist novel in the Rick Shaw Adventure series, but too many other writing projects have allowed only the start of one other synopsis. Perhaps I will return to Rick once my other pet project is .."completed".. My brain simply bulges with new ideas, and I have still written only two books in another series (murder mysteries).

Deserve to Die

Estimated pages: 219

Kindle version: $0.99/£0.99p

Deserve to Die


"Kirsty is a bright five-year-old. I’m sure her mother would like to see her mature, at least until her sixth birthday."


Jennifer and her daughter are hostages in their own home. The young man introduces himself as Martyn, but he is an enigma. Despite his anger and violence towards Jennifer whenever she attempts to get help or escape, he is calm and gentle when around Kirsty.


When she discovers his intention to assassinate the Syrian owner of the factory where she works, she does all she can to stop him. He tells a different story about her husband’s death, yet this is only the start of the intricate web of deceit begun weeks earlier. She is glad when he finally leaves, but an assassination and the kidnapping of her daughter by terrorists with their own agenda, force her to find him.


If Jennifer cannot find Martyn and convince him to take the blame for the assassination, then Kirsty will die in 24 hours. While continually trying to convince Martyn to go to the police, Jennifer and Martyn must avoid the kidnappers and police. They also find that British, Israeli, American and Syrian intelligence are closing in on them, each with their own agendas while attempting to maintain stability in the Middle East. Also, the terrorists have another goal – to release biological warfare weapons in London. Everything and everybody are against the young couple, who have their own secrets. Can they survive the non-stop roller-coaster ride of car smashes, explosions, gunfire, brutality and exhaustion for 24 hours to save Kirsty and London?


Author's Note:

Since writing this novel in 2002, when the Middle East and each nations' relationships were in enough turmoil, increased terrorism and civil war has completely changed the area, leaders and politics. Therefore, read this as it was meant instead of looking at current trends. After all, reading a novel of the Second World War bears no resemblance to present day Europe.

A Prayer for Jara

Tags: civil war, romance, adventure

Estimated pages: 149

Kindle version: $0.99/£0.99p

A Prayer for Jara


A high salary and bonus help Rick to ignore the impending civil war - until it happens. Now, the money means nothing as the military coup leaders kill foreign workers while blaming terrorists. The only people he can trust are the so-called terrorists, an ethnic minority facing extermination by the army, whom he blames for his problems. His pacifist side wonders why the different factions can't talk, but his love for Jara impels him to join their fight for life. His love, the betrayals, and killing mean he is no longer the man he was. Possessions are meaningless. Life and freedom are worth fighting for. Yet the uprising has no hope of succeeding.


A fast, action-packed adventure.


I thought the only reason why Radman took me to the bar directly from the office was to relax after an unusually gruelling long day. He soon dispensed with the small talk, and showed he had a serious and more sinister reason for the invitation. If I had known how the next twenty-four hours would change my life, then I might have listened closer and taken his advice. However, I would not be the person I am now, and would never have met Katarina.


Cover designs by the author, and adapted from The Rosary, a drawing and scraperboard by the artist Linda E. Brown who owns the copyright.

This and other paintings can be viewed and purchased from Linda's shop 'Gallery Linda':

Devine Retribution

Tags: serial killer, woman in jeopardy

Includes violence, strong language and sexual imagery.

Estimated pages: 280

Kindle version: $2.99/£1.99

Devine Retribution


While Norfolk police remain one step behind a serial killer, Laurella has problems of her own. A minor car accident when driving her boyfriend's borrowed Mercedes ends their stormy relationship. Alone again with her son, her ex-husband tries returning to the marital home in Lowestoft, his actions proving that he has stopped taking the medication for his personality disorder. At the same time, strange telephone calls and acts of hooliganism start, then mount in intensity. These become more violent and terrifying, but who is behind it all? Is it her angry ex-boyfriend, her obsessive ex-husband or somebody else? When she discovers the truth, the culprit seriously injures the only people who can help. Can she remain alive long enough to save her son, even if that means her own death?


If you think this can't happen to you, then think again.


This is a stand-alone novel, but Sabre follows on, again, as a stand-alone novel.


Note: Despite the queries, 'Devine' is spelt correctly! (The protagonist's name is Tim Devine, although he also calls himself Ralph De'Ath when he takes on the personna of his dead brother).


Author's Notes:

After writing this novel, but prior to publication, two female police officers were stabbed to death in separate incidents. These, and similar incidents, I guess, very quickly led to the police authority issuing instructions that all police officers must wear protective gear, especially when responding to calls. John was correct in this book, but allowed Sarah's haste to ignore common sense. Since that time, they would already have been wearing their protective gear.

I was unhappy with the language and sexual references in this novel, and found that if I was uncomfortable with them, then I should write in a way that did not require them. Yet the characters would have been less real if I had allowed these restrictions here. Tim is a 'Hollywood' cliche, so Sabre is about people who are more real. Yet Tim can exist. Perhaps he does. Look in any newspaper.


Tags: psychological suspense, mass murder.

Estimated pages: 230

Kindle version: $2.99/£1.99



WPC Sarah Miles gets away to recuperate from her injuries (see Devine Retribution). She wants to take the time to decide her future and whether to allow a co-worker, John, into her life. Simple. Yet everything is against her. First, her violent ex-boyfriend discovers her location and begins stalking her. Second, she meets an older couple who are also taking time out to consider their future. Everett is an aging salesman who has been accused of killing his boss for his job and wife. Third, Sarah can't contact John. Nothing is as it seems, and nobody is as they seem. As Sarah becomes lost in a living nightmare from which she cannot escape, only her sense of survival can keep her sane and alive - until she runs directly into her sleeping nightmare.


Sabre is a psychological suspense that builds to an unexpected and fast-paced climax.


This is a stand-alone novel but the characters and events follows Devine Retribution, which is also a stand-alone novel.


Author's Notes:

I was not happy with Tim in Devine Retribution because he seemed too cliched. Building his character was great - somehow, it is far easier to fill out an evil person, probably because they have more excitement around them. Anyway, I wanted to show something farther from Hollywood and closer to real life. Although I had shoved poor Sarah into a corner in Devine Retribution, I wanted her to find resolution. She therefore became the heroine of Sabre. Various fears and phobias were now instilled in her mind, and I (sadly) harmed her further by building on these. She was single, and John had already shown that he liked her, so I could now give Sarah a romantic entanglement, with the associated problems. Her guilt about her rash actions in Devine Retribution, plus all the above-mentioned baggage in her life, meant she must get away to think, and to decide her future.

And so, the stage was set for her next major problem. The rest simply fell into place as they lived their lives in my imaginary world. What better place than north-west Cumbria? Finding a quiet, barely-populated, area to think also leaves one far from help. Sorry, Sarah, for putting you through the mill again.