R C Bridgestock – the dynamic crime writing duo – visit me on their blog tour
I’m chuffed to bits to be hosting the ‘dynamic
duo’ of crime writing,
Bob and Carol Bridgestock,
better known as
R C Bridgestock
to my blog as
part of their tour in support of their latest fab
If you loved Scott and Bailey and Happy Valley TV series then you will be fascinated to know the couple is the storyline consultants/police procedural on
BAFTA-winning BBC1 police drama Happy Valley and series 3 of ITV’s Scott and Bailey, and are presently working with Scott Free Production scriptwriters on two commissioned TV drama series.
I first came across Bob and Carol some time ago on Facebook and we’ve been ‘friends’ ever since.
They’ve both been very helpful to me at times, answering questions about police procedure and other crime-related matters, for which I am forever grateful.
It is, therefore, my immense pleasure to host them on my blog and help promote their fabulous new offering:
which is the prequel to their DI Jack
Let’s find out about Bob and Carol and their writing:
is the name that husband and wife co-authors
Robert (Bob) and Carol Bridgestock
Between them they have nearly 50 years of police experience, offering an authentic edge to their stories. The writing duo created the character DI Jack Dylan, a down-to-earth detective, written with warmth and humour. The ninth book in the series will be published by The Dome Press in 2019, along with their backlist. A further crime series is presently being scripted by the pair, which has a strong Yorkshire female character – Charley Mann – at the helm.
Bob was a highly commended career detective of 30 years, retiring at the rank of Detective Superintendent. During his last three years, he took charge of 26 murders, 23 major incidents, over 50 suspicious deaths and numerous sexual assaults. He was also a trained hostage negotiator with suicide interventions, kidnap, terrorism and extortion.
As a Detective Inspector, he spent three years at the internationally acclaimed West Yorkshire Police Force Training School where he taught Detectives from all over the world in the whole spectrum of investigative skills and the law. On promotion to Detective Superintendent, Bob was seconded to a protracted enquiry investigating alleged police corruption in another force.
He worked on the Yorkshire Ripper and Sarah Harper murder, and received praise from Crown Court Judges and Chief Constables alike for outstanding work at all ranks, including winning the much-coveted Dennis Hoban Trophy.
As a police civilian supervisor, Carol also received a Chief Constable’s commendation for outstanding work.
The couple are the storyline consultants/police procedural on BAFTA-winning BBC1 police drama Happy Valley and series 3 of ITV’s Scott and Bailey, and are presently working with Scott Free Production scriptwriters on two commissioned TV drama series.
Carol started and chaired the Wight Fair Writers’ Circle in 2008, along with Bob, where she created an annual charitable community writing competition to inspire others of all ages. This event has raised over £10,000 for Island charities.
The couple pride themselves on being up-to-date on past and present-day UK police procedures, and as a result, Bob is regularly sought by UK television, radio and national and local newspapers for comment on developing major crime incidents etc. They have also taken part in BBC Radio 4 (Steve) PUNT P.I.
Together they can regularly be seen as speakers at a variety of events in the literary world and work with colleges in schools in providing writing seminars and workshops, and they also work with International TV / Film make-up artist Pamela Clare, to help inspire her students at the White Rose Colleges.
Eight annual R.C. Bridgestock trophies are annually awarded to students.
Carol and Bob are also patrons and ambassadors for several charities.
Poetic Justice – February 2019
When Detective Jack Dylan heads home to his wife after a residential course, he has no idea that an extraordinary succession of events is about to turn his life upside down. A vicious, unprovoked personal attack is just the start. The discovery of his wife’s death in a road accident also reveals her affair, and his step-daughter is being expelled from university for drug use. Professionally, two teenagers have gone missing and one is soon found dead.
An ordinary man might break under the strain, but Dylan is no ordinary man. He knows that his survival depends on him carrying-on regardless, burying himself in his work, relieved by the distraction of newcomer to the admin department, Jennifer Jones.
His determination to pursue the criminal elements behind the events – both personal and professional – is to be his salvation, and his relationship with Jen, his ‘Guardian Angel’, will turn out to be the mainstay of his future, both within the Force and at home.
Life may have changed, but nothing will stand in the way of Dylan’s determination to seek justice.
DID YOU KNOW…?
Bob had his collar felt by overzealous police officers on three occasions before he joined the police – wrong place, wrong time, or he might just have ‘that face’? Mind you, on one occasion he was carrying a bloodstained butchers smock rolled up under his arm, on a bus… Can’t blame the bus driver for calling the police about a ‘suspicious’ young man really, can you? Bob eventually decided, If, you can’t beat ‘em, join ‘em!
Bob is a qualified butcher and part of his training took him to the slaughterhouse. Perhaps this prepared him for what he was to see as a law enforcer – first-hand experience of man’s inhumanity to fellow man on a regular basis was sometimes seemed unrelenting…
The butchering brought in little money to the family man, so Bob spent two years in a dye works where the money was good but his health suffered. His back still shows the scars from the splashing of boiling water from the huge vats. His hair during this time was forever changing colour – that week’s preferred dye.
He joined the West Yorkshire Police in 1974, and he would go on to serve the community for 30 years at every rank, being presented – on retiring at the rank of Detective Superintendent – with a Certificate, and a Long Service medal:
‘In appreciation and recognition of 30 years Loyal and Devoted Service to the Community’ – Conduct assessment- Exemplary.’ Over two dozen times during his service, he was highly commended by chief constables and high court judges; a senior detective for over two-thirds of his career. Regarded in high esteem by his peers as a ‘safe pair of hands’, his former colleagues can still be heard calling him “Boss” when we meet. “I haven’t been your boss for over a decade,” I hear him say. “You’ll always be my boss,” comes the standard reply.
Bob hates flying and motorways. He avoids them wherever possible; Carol has an intolerance to some spices – best not to serve curry when Carol is coming to supper!
Bob and Carol worked as the Production Management Team on Carisbrooke Castle: 1000 Years of British History,that was sold by English Heritage. Bob took on several ‘acting’ parts to keep the budget down, and Carol too as the ghost of the formidable woman Isabella de Fortibus!
Carol & Bob met at work and next year they will celebrate their Silver Wedding Anniversary.
During their relatively short writing career, the couple has been voted by WH Smith
readership as the #8 Best Crime/Thriller Writers of all Time.
They have been characterised in the Dick Tracy
Hall of Fame.
Carol and Bob are Patrons and Ambassadors for a number of charities and their books and talks have raised substantial amounts of money for their charities, and others. The Dylan series alone has raised in the region of 20k by way of auctioning the opportunity to be a character in a book.
Carol and Bob are often asked how they write the books together. Bob writes the storyline from start to finish, with ‘the mask’ of the detective firmly in place. This first draft reads like a crime file rather than a story, such is the attention to detail. There is no emotion, and the characters are just a name – that Carol usually changes! The draft could be 40K – 80K depending on the depth of the police procedure in the narrative. Carol will tell you that this is ‘gold dust’ to her – a skeleton, the bones of which she can put flesh on. She develops the second thread of the story, and creatively breathes life into the scenes and characters – hence why she changes names whilst Bob starts the next book.
Carol is an award-winning hairdresser – taking a winning place on occasion in hairdressing competitions. With Fashion being her preferred subject, at the age of eighteen, she owned a successful salon in Hebden Bridge, and went on to teach hairdressing at Percival Whitely College, Halifax before joining the West Yorkshire Police after her youngest went to nursery school in 1988. She was commended by the Chief Constable Graham Moore for her idea, promotion and work on a school’s project for the police initiative, Autumn Fall. Examples of Carol’s hairdressing achievements:
Carol’s City & Guilds & Advanced Hairdressing – 1st in Fashion City and Guilds & Advanced Hairdressing – 1st in Fashion
Here is my 5* review of Poetic Justice
(thanks to Dome Press and Emily for sending me a copy to review – I was going to buy it anyway)
There hasn’t been a crime duo since Bonnie and Clyde which has got my imagination working over-time in such a delightful manner. OK, they are on a different side in the criminal world, but just imagine if they weren’t; 50 years of high-level knowledge and experience in West Yorkshire Police put to another use! Doesn’t bear thinking about. Thankfully, Bob and Carol Bridgestock are on the side of the goodies. They write about the baddies.
They are a team of crime fighters turned crime writers.
Poetic Justice is the prequel to their other, equally enjoyable, and enthralling books in the DI Jack Dylan series, which I’ve absolutely loved. Peter James has Sandy and Roy Grace and now there is Jack Dylan and his – well, that would be telling! read it and find out…
It is how and where it all began for this human and believable police detective whose private life would have driven another man to commit the crimes he usually investigates.
Jack Dylan is on a police course and his wife, Kay, is playing away unknown to Jack, although he has his suspicions. Their daughter, Isla, is away at University but her life is spiraling out of control and when Jack returns from his course he finds his life will never be the same again.
His wife is dead – apparently the victim of a car accident in Jack’s ca, but she wasn’t driving. Who is the man lying in hospital and why was he driving Jack’s car with Kay as his passenger? Jack has to find out.
To top it all someone tries to kill him as he waits for a train and Isla is fading fast from drug use and self-neglect. Even so, Jack is determined to soldier on finding answers to the questions tormenting him, and his grief will have to wait.
As if he didn’t have enough to cope with a local residential home for children seems to be at the heart of a child sexual exploitation ring. He hardly has time to catch his breath, to grieve for his wife, and to cope with his daughter’s failing health whilst investigating two teens who’ve gone missing from the home.
Poetic Justice helps put Jack Dylan into perspective, his back-story is fascinating and explains so much about the detective featured in the initial books in the series. I’ve read their series and Poetic Justice is the icing on the cake for me. It all adds to the reader’s understanding and enjoyment of Jack Dylan and what makes him the credible, and likeable, but determined character he is. The experience and in-depth knowledge of Bob and Carol Bridgestock shines through every chapter of this absorbing read.
I thoroughly recommend you read it. I am so happy I did. The Dylan series is a keeper.
Look what I’ve got
Their Blog Tour continues: