I have finished the second draft of ‘Five Dead in Richmond’, a murder investigation novel.

The manuscript is due for editing in early December 2019 and I hope to have another draft completed by February 2020 and another review will follow that.

The novel is written in past tense, multiple points of view, with one point of view per chapter. I have kept the chapters short, I believe the longest chapter is around 2000 words, with the shortest perhaps 350, about a single printed page.

The total word count should be 80k or thereabouts in the final draft.

In the current draft, there are several missing scenes and I need to tie up some loose ends and polish the sub plots until they shine (I hope).

‘Five Dead in Richmond’ is a complete rewrite of my very first novel, titled ‘The Sound of Falling Lives’. While Falling Lives had its merits, in the end I put it down to a learning experience and the characters, well, some of them, now live on in this novel.


The inciting incident is the discovery of Ashley Stones’s body by her sister Emma. The protagonist, DI Wilbur Hayes is assigned the case by his politically minded superior as Ashley’s husband, Jonathan Stones, is the son of the Minister of State for Justice. Hayes is warned that certain sensitivities apply in this case and should Hayes deliver to everyone’s satisfaction, Hayes will have a promotion and a fresh start in the Met.

Hayes quickly identifies a likely suspect and follows procedure. Then things begin to go wrong…

Ashley Stones

Ashley Stones did some modelling work and this was one of her favourite shots. She had it framed and mounted on her lounge wall in their house on Richmond Heights.