Only a day after I recorded the death of Bob Adey, I regret to say that another crime writing friend, Robert Adams, has died. Robert was, perhaps, less well known in the wider crime writing community than Bob, but I've known him for a similar length of time, more than fifteen years. We first met at the Boroughbridge lunches of the Northern Chapter of the CWA.
Robert was a gentle, softly spoken man and it came as something of a surprise when he told me that he was a former prison governor. Indeed, he was a prison officer at HMP Pentonville at the time George Blake, the spy, escaped from custody. He was also a university professor, and had a very interesting and wide-ranging CV; this obituary from the Writers' Guild gives a flavour. .
He produced a wide range of publications on a variety of subjects, but in the late Nineties, he told me he'd given up most of his academic commitments to concentrate on writing fiction. I was keen to encourage him, and with a little prompting, he wrote "The Hull Executive", which I was glad to include in an anthology produced on behalf of our chapter, Northern Blood 3. It has always been a key aim of mine, when editing anthologies, to provide a mix of well-known authors and those, like Robert, who deserve a share of attention from readers.
Robert continued to write, and in 2005, he sent me a copy of his novel Antman. I hoped that this was a sign that his career as a novelist was developing in the way he'd aimed for, but in recent years I haven't seen him at CWA events, although we kept in touch by post. This Christmas, for the first time in many years, I didn't receive a card from him, and I've now heard that he died on 31 December.
This blog is meant to strike a positive note, yet I've now written two obituaries in successive days. I am, though, very positive about my memories of Robert, and Bob Adey. Tomorrow, I shall write about a Forgotten Book that I very much enjoyed, and that I hope others will too.