Could Brid make a killing from author’s new murder trilogy?

Author Paul Harrison
Author Paul Harrison

One of the toughest jobs you can imagine is being an estate agent in Midsomer. How do you sell a house in a town where there are so many murders?

The fictional town from the ITV series is the killing capital of Great Britain, but one author is looking to make Bridlington the most dangerous place in the country.

Paul Harrison with the mayor of Bridlington, Cllr Liam Dealtry

Paul Harrison with the mayor of Bridlington, Cllr Liam Dealtry

Paul Harrison’s first novel Revenge of the Malakim is all about a serial killer on the streets of Bridlington - ‘a place where no-one can truly be trusted and nothing is ever what it seems’.

And the Free Press is at the heart of the mystery, with investigative reporter Lucien Hayes one of the main characters.

So could Bridlington be about to make it on to the small screen?

Paul said: “The publishers are hoping to get TV involved. If it gets on to the TV as a series, it would promote the town so much. I really hope it could be great for the area.

Paul Harrison at Bridlington Library

Paul Harrison at Bridlington Library

The book was officially launched at an event at Bridlington Library on Tuesday night but has been available in the shops for a couple of weeks.

“I think it is doing quite well,” he said. “I was at a book signing in London at the weekend and it was amazing, with people saying it is such a good book.”

Why has Paul chosen Bridlington as the setting for a book? And why not a fictional location?

“I used to have an auntie who lived at Bessingby and I used to spend my summers in Bridlington. When I was older, I used to bring my own children here.”

Paul Harrison

Paul Harrison

“I always think Bridlington gets ignored. People always talk about Scarborough and Whitby and Bridlington seems to be the poor cousin. But it is such a beautiful area with such history.

“It is the place closest to my heart.”

Paul currently has homes in Northamptonshire and Scotland but is looking to sell both so he can move to the Bridlington area.

“So many people write about the Highlands, or London or the big cities, but Bridlington means so much to me,” he said.

“One of the bodies is found at Flamborough Head. I just thought it would be a really good place to hide a body.

“There are plenty of place names people will recognise. I was walking along the clifftops at Sewerby and thought, as a crime writer, this is ideal. There is the beauty, the remoteness, but also there is a bustling town and villages nearby.

“Bridlington stuck with me, it‘s a place I can’t forget.

All the locations in the book are real places in the Bridlington area, the characters are fictional and the name of the police force has been changed.

Trying to catch the killer is DCI Will Scott, who is named after author Paul’s great, great grandad, who was himself a writer.

The second book in the trilogy, called The Dark Web, is due to be released in the summer and the final part, The Street Cleaner will be out in September.

Paul is also working on a Christmas-themed novel.

“I’ve got my hands full. I am trying to incorporate some of the history of the town.

“In book two, there is an older person killed after telling tales of World War Two, so I have woven in memorie sof that period around the harbour.

“People will recognise the history as well as the landmarks.”

They will also recognise the name of Bridlington’s longest-serving newspaper.

“There is a Free Press reporter called Lucien Hayes who features really heavily.

“He uncovers things that the police can’t. Will tips him off and he tips Will off.

“Lucien was somebody who was going to be on the periphery of it all but his character and personality came through and people suggested using him more.”

Paul spent 27 years as a police officer, working in Cumbria and Leeds, beforemoving to the National Criminal Intelligence Service .

He has already written more than 30 true-life crime books, and one about the Loch Ness Monster, before turning his hand to fiction.

“A lot of things are based on my real-life experiences. I interviewed lots and lots of serial killers.

“I knew I had all these experiences and I had to use them.

“You can only do so much with true crime and after a while it becomes repetitive.

“I wanted to create my own killer, who wasn’t a monster, but someone part of everyday society.”