Crime, real- life and chick-lit with a twist.

Surrey enjoys plenty of literary connections – some better known than others. H.G Wells wrote War of the Worlds (one of the key BBC1 adaptations this autumn) whist living in Woking. The Hound of the Baskervilles was quite possibly inspired by mysterious dogs and ghostly occurrences in Hindhead where Arthur Conan Doyle resided whilst penning his masterpiece and Jane Austin enjoyed picnicking on Box Hill: did this vista fertilise her vivid descriptions of the 18th century socialites at play?

In keeping with these classic authors, 21st century Surrey is home to an array of gifted wordsmiths who are breathing new life into the county’s literary tradition. If you’re after ideas for bookish gifts or simply looking for your own holiday read, then why not try a book from the new generation of Surrey writers?


I, Witness.

This is the debut novel by Niki Mackay.

They say I’m a murderer…

Six years ago Kate Reynolds was found guilty of murdering her best friend. Case closed. She served her time and is now being released.

Kate’s memories of the night concerned are hazy. She is sure of one thing. She didn’t murder her best friend. Enter Madison Attalee, flawed, quirky, sweary, rock music lover and in the grand tradition of all good P.I protagonists, Madison has her own demons to face down.

The Whispers of the past have a habit of seeping through generations.  Niki has written a compelling story of secrets, lies, manipulation with her P.I hero Madison endeavouring to unravel the truth and clear her client’s name.

Set in Kingston-Upon-Thames the book is written from multiple Points of View. I, Witness is a gripping psychological thriller and a worthy addition to crime aficionados ‘to read’ lists.

Niki’s second novel, The Lies We Tell was published in 2019.


RH resident Kerry has several well-received books under her belt. She is going from strength to strength!  Her Latest offering is “The mother I could have been”. This examines what it means to be a mother and the weight of society’s expectations.

As a child, Vicky Hall never had the sort of family she wanted. The least important person in her new step-family, ignored by her mother in favour of her two younger half-siblings, Vicky was always an afterthought. Sitting alone at her graduation ceremony at the age of twenty-one, she vows to create her own family and her own life, one which is full of the love and attention she has always craved.

When Vicky meets William and falls pregnant in Greece that summer, it isn’t planned. But the two of them believe they can make it work, showering their child with the love which they believe should be enough.

But when her son Theo is two, Vicky leaves him in the care of her mother-in-law, walks out of her front door and drives to a hotel where she takes a room for the night. She doesn’t return.

Kerry writes absorbing and emotional books with a light touch, page turners in the true sense. If you enjoy Lianne Moriaty and Jodi Picault then you will devour Kerry’s novels.

Angela Dyson.

Meet The Love Detective. Clarry is 26, attractive, funny, a little bit lost and bored with her life. Her best friend Laura, is suspicious of her new boyfriend Simon and his motives and asks Clarry to help uncover the truth. And so begin the misadventures of Clarry.  Fun and entertaining, nevertheless the sinister twist stops this from falling into true chick lit territory. Clarry is an engaging new heroine and her latest adventures are covered in Love Detective: The Next Level.

Angela is a regular guest on BBC Surrey and Sussex, has written for various magazines and newspapers and has published another series; The Fortunes of Sally Forth, featuring a woman who has swapped London Living for Country Loving…

John T. Leonard.

Primus is the second novel by local lad John T. Leonard. A crime and police procedural read, if you like A Touch of Frost, then Primus follows a similar enjoyable path.  It covers the adventures of DS Tom Draven, who is a well-respected police officer in the Serious Crimes Unit. The author draws upon his own experiences as a serving officer and there is much procedural detail to please crime aficionados

 It is a stressful job and it’s not surprising that he sometimes fails to put enough energy into his relationship with his girlfriend, Jess, and often has to let her down at the last minute when work calls. But when he starts to lose track of whole chunks of time, he begins to wonder if his mind is playing tricks on him…

Tense and taut, John T. Leonard has penned a solid crime read with a likeable protagonist.

George Lincoln

Who Needs Flowers When They’re Dead? is the gripping debut novel by George Lincoln. George draws upon his own career experiences and has written a compelling and challenging book which examines the effects of a difficult childhood and its consequences. It is a complex and harrowing read at times – in saying that, there is a need for fiction that allows us to examine our darker, baser human instincts.  It is a novel which fits perfectly with the zeitgeist. The Joker, the most popular film at the box office in 2019 looks at toxic masculinity, questions attitudes to mental health and demonstrates how an unkind and unjust society reaps what it sows; broadly speaking, themes examined by George.  If you ‘enjoyed’ The Joker and have pondered its moral message then this is a natural follow on. There are two narrators: the unnamed boy and the adult David – a clever touch. Those bookworms who enjoy the following genres: police procedurals, crime and true life fiction should look no further.

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