A fresh approach to crime fiction

Can a word make a difference?

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Imagine Clint Eastwood, toting a magnum in Dirty Henry. Imagine Jack Nicholson in The Gleaming. And as for The Hunt for Pink October

One word can make a big difference, not just to titles, but to the course of a story, as I discovered this week while writing No Remorse, the third Kent Fisher mystery.

It’s all in a name

No Remorse began life as No Chance, but the title didn’t capture the essence of the story, so I changed one word to add more suspense and maybe a touch of foreboding.

No Remorse is also the most complex of the three novels. Unlike the previous two, this one has the added complication of a cryptic code that could unlock a significant part of the mystery surrounding the death of Anthony Trimble.

Was Trimble murdered?

Kent can’t be sure until he works out the cryptic code Trimble left behind. I found it hard coming up with the code.It was even harder – working out how to crack it.

But as I explained in All in the Mind, my subconscious came up trumps again.

 All it took was one word …

I changed one word out of the seven in the cryptic code. It was only a place name, but its origins now point Kent Fisher at the 18th Century smugglers who used to move contraband from the coast into the villages of East Sussex and then further afield.

It gives me the chance to explore some of this area’s rich history. Kent can now make some informed deductions to solve the code and find the clues that will help him solve the mystery of Trimble’s death.

I’m sure the answer will throw up even more complications, problems and dangers …

If a word or experience changed your life, why not share it with me and leave a comment below?

And one year on

The first Kent Fisher novel, No Accident, was published one year ago this week on 20th June.

In this instance, there’s no single word to describe the experience.

It’s been an interesting, exciting and frustrating year in equal measures as I tried to get to grips with becoming a full time writer, learn about marketing and write the sequel, No Bodies.


I also started writing my Case Files, which are humorous accounts of incidents and events from my career in environmental health. Why not sign up below to find out lots more and receive your free copy of Volume 1 – The Student Years, which includes the story of how I brought down the mayor.


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