Today I’m delighted to share the latest book by Paul Gitsham, available to pre-order here
DCI Warren Jones Book 6, A Price to Pay. Publication date 5th June 2020. HQ Digital.
If you play with fire, you’re going to get burned…
It should be an easy solve: a murder in broad daylight with two eyewitnesses. But the victim is the son of a notorious local crime family who has a habit of hitting on other men’s wives; the witnesses are Serbian nationals who speak limited English.
For DCI Warren Jones, this is his most challenging case yet. As the suspects pile up, the victim’s family work to protect their son’s memory by destroying any evidence that could betray his criminal past – or might have led to his killer.
Somehow Warren must uncover the truth about the murder – but there are secrets at the heart of the case more dangerous than anyone could have imagined, and the fallout could tear Warren’s team apart…
Paul, can you tell me a little about your latest in the DCI Warren Jones’s series and publishing in Lockdown?
Well, what a strange time to be releasing a book! Of course, plans were set in motion for the release of the 6th full-length entry in the DCI Warren Jones series roughly two years ago. According to the file creation date, August 2018 is the ‘official’ date that I started writing Warren’s latest adventure, but its genesis was much earlier than that.
The opening prologue, with a woman running blindly through a forest chased by unknown pursuers and their dogs, had been floating around at the back of my mind for about five years. It often comes to me that way; a single scene that I just know I have to write someday. I distilled it to a couple of lines and put it to one side, as I worked my way through my next couple of books. I plan my series several books at a time, and there was no space for it just yet.
Fast forward another couple of years and I’m still not quite ready to use it, but as I lie on my back in a darkened room, surrounded by scented candles, having just enjoyed a massage, I get to thinking: “I’m completely defenceless here. If somebody comes through that door with a knife, there’s nothing I can do about it.”
That idea sparked the idea for a short novella that I started to plan out as soon as I arrived home. Again, it went on the ‘to write one day’ list.
A year or so later, I pitched both ideas to my publisher as we sketched out the next six books in my Warren Jones series – three full-length novels interspersed with novellas. As always, my synopsis for each book was a vague paragraph with a list of continuing story threads that needed to be woven through the series. My publisher said ‘fine’ and told me to get on with it, with permission to change my mind if I wished (remarkably trusting, now that I look back on it!). And so I did. The novella A Case Gone Cold came out in March 2018, followed by The Common Enemy in the summer. Next spring saw A Deadly Lesson then summer 2019’s Forgive me Father.
But by this point, I’d had an epiphany: Who said the woman in the woods and the murder in the massage parlour had to be two separate stories? I pitched another idea to replace the novella that was now missing and wrote At First Glance as quickly as I could (it was another idea that had been gestating for some time) and then set about writing A Price to Pay. A few weeks in and I regretted trying to mash these two ideas together, but then it happened; the pieces started to fit together. And now, when I look back, I just cannot imagine one storyline without the other.
Thanks Paul for sharing a little about your book.
Paul Gitsham started his career as a biologist, working in such exotic locales as Manchester and Toronto. After stints as the world’s most over-qualified receptionist and a spell making sure that international terrorists and other ne’er do wells hadn’t opened a Junior Savings Account at a major UK bank (a job even less exciting than being a receptionist) he retrained as a Science Teacher. He now spends his time passing on his bad habits and sloppy lab-skills to the next generation of enquiring minds.