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  • Writer's pictureHinton Magazine

Edge of Civilisation – BAFTA winner’s thriller keeps you on edge of your seat

Tony McHale’s Edge of Civilisation is a thriller set in Bradford, West Yorkshire. It revolves around the disappearance of several teenage girls, all of which were living in care homes or in vulnerable situations. When two of the girls turn up dead, Detective Inspector William Wordsworth, the investigating officer, realises that they’re dealing with something he’s never encountered before – The Dark Web.

Published on 26th April 2022, Tony McHale’s visceral thriller, Edge of Civilisation, is not only a compelling read but brings together the wordsmithing expertise the author has honed whilst writing for many of our favourite crime series including Silent Witness and Waking the Dead; and as a co-creator and executive producer of Holby City (for which he won a BAFTA).

Based in the author’s hometown of Bradford, the Dark Web takes centre stage in this well-conceived thriller, with the author taking the reader deep into the workings of this bleak world and those that haunt it. A page turner that shocks and thrills in equal measure, Tony McHale’s main protagonist, the very relatable DI Wordsworth, literally jumps from the page with his unrelenting determination to solve the case. And whilst his tenacity costs him dear in this novel, he is most definitely a character that readers will be keen to meet again.


Detective Inspector Wordsworth has been called in for an interview with the Internal Investigation Unit. They are making enquiries into his handling of Operation Clayton, an extensive operation originally sparked into life by the disappearance of fifteen-year-old Jodie Kinsella.

The case, while at first seemingly run-of-the-mill involving a runaway teenager, soon became so much more. It was immediately evident to Wordsworth and his partner DS Redhead that Jodie was just one of a number of teenage girls that are missing. If it hadn’t been for Jodie’s disappearance, then there would have been little chance that anybody would have ever seriously looked into the other missing girls.

Their detective work leads them eventually to three boys from wealthy, influential families who all attend a local private school and all had a connection with Jodie and the other missing girls. Do they have a teenage serial killer on their hands? And more importantly: if he can find the culprit, can Wordsworth even make a conviction stick in the face of institutional discrimination?

The author says:

“Wordsworth’s pursuit of the abductors is relentless and ignoring a warning from the men he’s chasing; he suffers a serious personal tragedy. Edge of Civilisation is how Wordsworth feels as he goes deeper and deeper into the machinations of The Dark Web.”

Published by Cranthorpe Millner Publishers, Edge of Civilisation (ISBN: 978-1-80378-002-3) is published on 26th April 2022 and is available in paperback (£10.99) and Kindle format It is also available to purchase at the following: Waterstones | Foyles | Amazon | Cranthorpe Millner

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