One Good Deed

I had intended to serialise this book over the course of a year, exclusively for subscribers to my newsletter. Times are strange though, and I thought I’d both speed things up a bit and make the book available more widely. You can read the instalments here on the website as they drop each week, and once it’s all done I’ll see about making a free eBook version available, at least for a while. And if people like it enough, maybe I’ll see if I can get a publisher interested.

So what is it? Well, there’s a question. One Good Deed was my first attempt at a thriller. I wrote it in 2010, after the first two Inspector McLean books – Natural Causes and The Book of Souls – had been shortlisted for the CWA Debut Dagger but subsequently failed to find a publisher because of their other-worldly content.

Eagle-eyed readers will notice that the title of the book is remarkably similar to one by US thriller maestro David Baldacci. I can only say that this is entirely coincidental. And anyway, I got there first. I’ve not read Mr Baldacci’s book, but from its blurb I don’t think anyone’s going to get the two confused. If I ever do publish this I will probably give it a different title though. Very few of my published novels have the title they started out with, and indeed many started out with no title at all.

One Good Deed gained me the attention of my agent, although she was only an assistant at the time and didn’t take me on until a couple of years later when Natural Causes exploded upon the scene. There’s an interesting story (at least, it’s interesting to me) about that, which you can find over on the long-forgotten Sir Benfro Blog. I always meant to go back and redraft this book and see if a publisher might be interested, but there’s never been the time. In my defence, I’ve had 17 other books published in the intervening years…

This is a third or fourth draft of the book, but it’s never been professionally edited. As such, you’ll find a few inconsistencies and some typos. Sorry about that. You’ll also find it refers to SOCA, the Serious and Organised Crime Agency, which no longer exists but did in 2010. The perils of writing contemporary fiction!

There will be nine parts in total, so keep an eye out for them all. And if you’re enjoying the story, do let me know. There’s a contact form here.