Ex-Chief Superintendent teams up with Peter James to write about real crime

Debut author and ex-Chief Superintendent for Brighton and Hove, Graham Bartlett has teamed up with internationally-bestselling crime novelist Peter James to reveal the true crime stories behind James' Roy Grace crime series.

Wednesday, 13th July 2016, 6:55 pm
Updated Thursday, 7th June 2018, 10:55 pm

One of the youngest to head the Brighton Police Force, uniquely having served in every rank, Graham brings his experience to the book Death Comes Knocking: Policing Roy Grace’s Brighton, published by Macmillan this month (£7.99).

Once known as the crime capital of Britain, Brighton has provided some shocking cases. Graham has faced everything from drug rings to mass-murders in his rise through the ranks.

While writing Death Comes Knocking, Graham took the unusual step of visiting some of those he had locked away.

From dangerous career criminals to the almost comical slip-ups of amateurs to the initiation of life-changing policy, Graham will reveal all.

Graham Bartlett and Peter James offer an account of the city’s most challenging cases, taking the reader from crime scenes and incident rooms to the morgue, introducing real-life detectives who inspired Peter James’s characters.

As Peter says: “Most people say that when the Cold War ended, crime writing became more prominent than thrillers. But I think we have always been fascinated by crime writing because it looks at a scary world. The thing with a crime novel is that you have a detective who will lead you through the horror. You are entering a world that is mirroring the world we live in, but there is a steering hand there and the world is hopefully a slightly-better place at the end of it. It’s a bit like going on a ghost train!

“But there is a second level. Part of what makes good detection in a crime novel is that it is a puzzle. Good detection is basically good puzzle-solving, and a lot of people enjoy the challenge of reading that. But by far the most important reason is that people like to be entertained and equally to learn about the world.

“I think that the police are the glue that holds civilised countries together.”

Peter aims for total accuracy in his depiction of the way in which the police work.

“To most readers of crime fiction, it does not matter provided you are telling a good story with good characters. But to me, it matters a lot.

“I have a lot of readers who are police officers themselves. When I am writing I want to think that when a police officer reads it, he won’t say ‘this idiot has got it wrong!’ Most police officers won’t watch crime on TV because their wives get fed up with them screaming at the set!”

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