The name of Roger Forsdyke may not yet be very well known to crime fans outside the UK, but to British crime writers it is certainly familiar. Roger has for upwards of a decade been a contributor of a regular column to the CWA’s members’ newsletter, ‘Red Herrings’, offering bags of useful information about policing, and the issues of concern to contemporary police officers. He’s an authoritative source, for he has served with Lincolnshire Police for many years. And now he has produced a crime novel.
I got to know Roger (and his wife Penny) many moons ago, through that marvellous social group, the Northern Chapter of the CWA. We have enjoyed many conversations since – though it has to be said that by the end of an evening at the bar, I sometimes have a crick in my neck, for Roger is a very, very tall chap indeed. A couple of years back, he took over as convenor of the group from Peter Walker, who set up the Northern Chapter. Peter, himself a former cop and creator of Heartbeat, is a hard act to follow, but Roger has tackled the role with aplomb.
Roger’s services as an expert adviser are also in demand and I am one of a number of authors whom he has helped with his customary wit and insight. The closing showdown in The Coffin Trail, for instance, owed something to Roger’s guidance on siege tactics.
Roger has long been keen to follow in Peter’s footsteps in another way, as a writer of fiction. Way back in 1995, I had the pleasure of including a short story he wrote called ‘Video Nasty’ in the anthology Northern Blood 3. But work commitments have kept getting in the way of that long-awaited debut novel.
Now, finally, it is here. Deadman’s Hill is published by Starlode and available via Amazon. It’s set in the early 1960s, and tackles the notorious Hanratty case from a fresh angle. I look forward to reading it. And one thing is for sure – the account of police procedure will be utterly convincing, for this is a writer with enormous personal experience of investigating crimes that most of us only read or write about.
Incidentally, I'm indebted to Margot Kinberg, and Uriah of Crime Scraps, themselves two bloggers of note, for giving me a Prolific Blogger Award. Because of domestic commitments too time-consuming and tedious to harp on about, I'm going to wimp out of making futher nominations, but I do appreciate the honour, and at the risk of being repetitious, I should again say how much I appreciate the warmth and goodwill that abounds within what one might call the crime blogging community.