Roger A Price – Crime Fighter to Crime Writer – with his latest publication: Inside Threat
HAPPY PUBLICATION DAY ROGER.
It’s my great pleasure to welcome crime fighter turned crime writer, Roger A. Price, as my guest author upon publication of his latest novel, INSIDE THREAT, a DS Martin Draker novel.
Congratulations and good luck with Inside Threat, Roger, I’m a big fan of your writing.
This is Roger’s second appearance as my guest author. His last was in 2019 and the link to his interview can be found further down this page.
I thought I’d let Roger tell us about himself and his writing in his own words, so here goes:
Crime Fighter to Crime Writer …
is what my tagline says, and as cheesy as that is, I guess it pretty much says it all. But at what cost? Here’s a little about the idiot behind the pen.
I left the cops as a Special Ops detective inspector having served for over thirty-one years with the Lancashire Constabulary, the Regional Crime Squad, the National Crime Squad, drug squads, CID, Intelligence, a dedicated informant unit, and finally finishing off in charge of a drugs undercover unit named Operation Nimrod which received national acclaim. All fantastic stuff for a budding crime fiction writer – I mean who likes doing loads of research to make a police procedural authentic? A bit easier I guess, than being a crime writer without such a background, though I do try to give back by helping my fellow authors where I can. That said, having real-life experiences to draw from and base one’s fiction on, does not make you a storyteller.
Jane: Roger has been a great help to me over the years and I’m forever grateful.
I had to do a correspondence course and went to night school to learn advanced creative writing, and hired a literary consultant when drafting my first novel to ensure I got my structure as good as I could. I studied authors’ work I admired and read as widely within the genre as possible. I’ve always felt that I wasn’t a bad verbal storyteller, so putting it all together I knuckled down and wrote (and rewrote, and rewrote) my first novel By Their Rules which was first published in 2013, closely followed by A New Menace in 2014.
Within these two novels, I realised, was quite a lot of gore and grit; almost as if I had to vent myself. My Badge & the Pen series – Nemesis, Vengeance, and Hidden, I feel became less gritty but with more mystery; still fast-flowing action reads, but with perhaps more character development, too.
What I hadn’t expected was the cathartic effect my writing would have on me! During my time with the police, I had to witness and deal with the worst of what society is capable of. In fact, my own life was put in serious peril on nine occasions – I’m outliving a cat! And, as one advances through the middle and later years of life, I have found that I am naturally less resilient. Things I would have shrugged off in my thirties sometimes replay in my mind and make me shudder.
I guess this is just part of the way things are, but what I have found through my writing is being a crime fighter turned crime writer is a two-edged sword. On the one hand, it can be cathartic, but sometimes it can take you back to places you would rather not visit. But at least it’s much safer writing about it rather than dealing with it!
I welcome the purging effect of recall whilst writing and have learned to accept that it comes with past reminders one can do without. But if it adds realism and authenticity to my narrative, then it is surely turned into something positive, and that is a good thing. It also lessens the power of the negative in those reminders, and hands control back to me. But there are some places I won’t go to, a Pandora’s Box of memories I refuse to harvest. The subject matter which you will never find in my writing.
I’m really excited about my new DS Draker series of crime novels published by those wonderful folk at Dark Edge Press. Inside Threat will be followed by Double Cross, and Яed Herrings with Gone Native bringing up the rear.
Inside Threat – let’s find out more. Here’s the book blurb:
An informant goes missing after disclosing to DS Martin Draker, of the Northwest’s Regional Organised Crime Unit, that a corrupt police official is importing heroin from India.
Field analyst Cath is investigating an upsurge in deaths caused by a new drug with similar effects to cocaine.
A body, believed to be that of the missing informant, is discovered in a burned-out car, along with a note threatening further deaths if the police don’t back off.
Cath launches a TV appeal warning of the dangers of Sky White. The gangster, Dan Manning, is incensed; she could kill the new drug’s market before it gets going.
Before Manning has a chance to stop her, the police must catch him before the body count rises.
You can read Roger’s Prologue for INSIDE THREAT here:
Deso knew he wasn’t the most academic, but he had street smarts better than most. He’d seen many of his mates buy drugs from new dealers only to get stung; either ripped off, usually by scousers, or nicked having bought from undercover cops. He’d never been caught out by either so was confident he’d suss out this new face from the off.
He met the guy under Blackpool’s central pier, and although he’d never bought gear from him before, the bloke looked local, he was sure of that. More than familiar. Deso knew all was cool; street smarts; you can’t buy it. You’ve either got it or you haven’t. The sun was setting over the Irish Sea and bouncing its waning rays over the water and casting shadows everywhere. The light under the pier reduced even further and the guy stood with his back to the sea; he was just a silhouette. Street smarts, this guy had them too, so that meant he was no cop.
‘What’s this new cocaine like, man?’ Deso asked.
‘You’ll be bouncing for hours, mate, trust me, it’s better than anything you ever had.’
‘I’m not sure, have you got any normal gear?’
‘No, but I’ll give you two wraps for a tenner; introductory one-time deal,’ the dealer said.
Street smarts, Deso thought, he didn’t get to his early thirties without learning all the right stuff. This was a good deal.
‘I’ll even throw in a free pair of sunglasses; ease any over-dilation of your pupils.’
‘Never been a problem before.’
‘It’s getting dark, no one is going to see me,’ Deso said, as he handed his money over.
Once the guy had gone, Deso took himself to a quiet corner of the beach away from all the dog walkers and snorted a line of coke. The hit was almost immediate, and he felt higher than he had ever felt, well, apart from that first time; no one got that one back. But this was in a way, a new first, and he loved it. He was buzzing; full of energy, dancing and larking about, and man, did he feel horny. He’d give that bird from the squat a bell; she’d do anything to share his gear. It would be party time. He tried calling her, but her phone was off, he’d try again later.
But then the peak came and went; he was on his way back down. It had been one hell of a high but hadn’t lasted as long as he’d hoped. That was the payoff, he mused. He found a rock to lean up against and decided to wait it out. Didn’t want to do all his stuff too quickly, plus that could be dangerous. It was why so many dickheads went over when they shouldn’t have. He’d chill it out and then go again. He’d ring the bird then, no point beforehand.
He dropped off and when he woke it was fully dark, it was only an hour later but felt like much longer. The moonlight was starting to stretch its glow from behind him. But his head was aching; it must be that which woke him. Perhaps he was dehydrated. It was a common fault of his. Then his eyes started to ache, and as his vison began to adjust to the gloom, he realised that he could see quite well given that it was night-time. Very well indeed. But everything seemed too bright, and the aching turned to pain. Spiteful, stabbing pain. It took Deso’s breath away. This wasn’t normal. He got to his feet and tried in vain to blink the agony away. But it just accelerated. It felt as if his eyes were on fire. God, what was happening?
Water, he needed water to cool his eyes, that’s all, it must be a reaction to his dehydration. He headed to the sea, it seemed miles away with the tide out, but was not that far, not really, just seemed it.
He staggered forward as quickly as he could, but the pain was now white hot and he yelled out, no longer able to contain himself. By the time he reached the shore he felt like his entire face was alight, he’d never known pain like it. It was unbearable, and once he realised that he could no longer stand it, its effect magnified many times over.
Deso threw himself into the waves, desperate to get his head under the water of the ebbing tide. But there was no relief, it just seemed to get worse, maybe the salt aggravated it. He needed air and raised his head above the brine. But as he gasped for breath, the pain simply intensified once more. He didn’t know what to do. The water was up to his waist now, and he was struggling to stand still, the retracting waters of the Irish Sea were pulling him, tugging at his sodden clothes, edging him ever further from the beach. He’d try again to put out the fire of pain, but with closed eyes to protect them from the salt, that might do it.
He plunged his head back beneath the surface, but the pain didn’t lessen, but it didn’t get worse either. Maybe that was a good sign; maybe it was passing its peak. He instinctively opened his eyes as he raised his head above the water, which was up to his mouth now. Then he was horrified to see that the water around his head had turned pink, illuminated by the moonlight bouncing off the waves. Then he lost his footing and felt as if some unseen force was sucking him down. He opened his mouth to scream, and in that instant, all the pain disappeared.
It was replaced by a blessed blackness as he breathed in the cool water.
Roger, thanks so much for being my guest author on your publication day. It’s been a pleasure hosting you.
Early Reviews for Inside Threat
‘Some writers talk the talk but Roger Price walks the walk,’ Stephen Leather.
‘The best police procedural thriller I have read this year,’ Gary Donnelly.
‘Price just gets better and better . . . A cracking read,’ Nick Oldham.
‘Nobody fuses raw authenticity with a barnstorming police thriller quite like Roger A. Price. Realism bleeds from every thumping page, and in Inside Threat, he layers it over a sparkling plot of deception, betrayal, and sheer excitement. With a lead to truly root for in DS Martin Draker, an air of constant unpredictability, and a dynamite turn of phrase, Inside Threat is, simply put, an outstanding thriller,’ Rob Parker.
‘Slick, smart, and heartstoppingly suspenseful, with a genius twist that floored me . . . This is Roger at his best!’ A. A. Chaudhuri.
You can find Roger on Social Media:
My website: www.rogerapriceauthor.co.uk
My Amazon Page: www.amazon.co.uk/Roger-A-Price/e/B00G6P938S/ref=aufs_dp_mata_dsk
My Twitter: Roger A Price (@RAPriceAuthor) / Twitter
You can find all Roger’s Books here:
Amazon UK link for Inside Threat: https://rb.gy/t8govr
Amazon US link for Inside Threat: rb.gy/gp7291
Read Roger’s first interview with me from June 2019 here: