Putney Writer's Detective Returns After Long Absence

Third book in Chris Smith's Strider series delayed by Covid

Chris Smith with the cover of his new book
Chris Smith with the cover of his new book

A locally based writer of detective novels is celebrating the publication of his latest book after a long delay.

Chris Smith, who lives in Putney Square on Putney Hill, has had a three year wait for the third instalment in a series of crime novels about Detective Constable Dominic Strider, of Chester CID.

Chris, who works in communications for the civil service, said, “It was such a relief to finally get the book published. I still can’t quite believe it is finally out, to be honest.

“I first met the publishers, David and Kelly McCaffrey of Britain’s Next Best Sellers publishing house, at a London Comic Convention event in summer of 2019. We planned to get the book published just after Christmas that year. But for various personal reasons, we had a few small delays. And then the pandemic struck!

“Because of lockdown, I knew that people had far more worrying things on their mind than a book being launched, plus social distancing would have impacted very strongly on arranging any book signings or other events. So I was quite relaxed about waiting for lockdown to be over before we published.

“I’m then responsible personally for another delay in getting the book out. As a communications professional, I’m also quite a pedantic proof-reader so was adamant that I read and re-read the novel a few times.”

Strider Begins: Road to Nowhere is an origin story. DC Strider starts the book older and wiser, and is recounting some of his earlier murder cases to his girlfriend. The first of those cases forms the plot of Strider Begins: Road to Nowhere. It takes place in the week running up to Easter.

After disposing of a bomb left outside Chester Cathedral, DC Strider investigates the murders of a local newspaper journalist and an elderly lady, a particularly vicious drug dealer, bank robbers with a difference, and uncovers a decades-old secret. But the backdrop to his detective work is his failing marriage, and at the end he is forced to conclude that he might have cracked the case but without his wife, he really has travelled down a Road to Nowhere.

The book was published on Monday (11 April) and is available on Amazon in paperback and for Kindle devices.

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April 12, 2022