A fresh approach to crime fiction

A little bird told me …

This is a favourite opening line for Tommy Logan, Editor of the Tollingdon Tribune, in No Accident. Always on the hunt for the exclusive that will bring him to the attention of the tabloid press, he likes to give the impression he’s so well connected he knows everything that’s worth knowing.

editorWhen I first created Kent Fisher, I knew he would need help if he was to solve murders. The obvious choice was a police officer, but that was too easy somehow. I hit on the idea of a local reporter, who would have plenty of contacts and an instinct to hunt down a story and tease out the truth. In the end, I chose Mike Turner, ex Scenes of Crime Officer, to be Kent’s friend and helper.

But Tommy Logan was too good to lose. When I changed his name to Thomas Hardy Logan, named by his mother after her favourite author, he came alive. His name made him somewhat pretentious, comparing himself to a literary giant. He writes with a fountain pen to support this notion, and spends all his time chasing that elusive exclusive that will make his name.

Ironically, his desire for tabloid stardom means his writing is anything but literary. His headlines in the Tollingdon Tribune mirror the tabloid press and his news relies not on facts, but speculation and a healthy injection of opinion.

This is hardly surprising as Tommy’s expectations far exceed his talents. As editor of a provincial newspaper, he’s constantly frustrated, but his optimism and belief that he will find the big story never desert him. This is why Kent makes time for Tommy, even if he’s an irritation. Their banter is often a great source of warmth and humour.

Though mentioned during the novel, Tommy doesn’t make an appearance until close to the end of No Accident, but I like to think it’s worth the wait.

Thomas Hardy Logan, looking more like a vagrant than an editor in a faded Tweed jacket and corduroy trousers, hopes to impress the daily newspapers with his local knowledge. He slides into the chair next to me and places a skinny latte on the table to replace the cold one I’m nursing.
“A little bird told me you were in the thick of it,” Tommy says, pulling a fountain pen from inside his jacket. He studies my bruised and swollen face for a moment and tuts. “You look like shit, Kent.”
“And you want a scoop.”
“I’m always willing to plumb the depths of misfortune, you know that. And yours promises to be deeper than most.”

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