Interview with 'Missing But Not Lost' author Russell Wate
Russell, for those who are excited for the release on the 25th what is your new book 'Missing But not lost' about?
I always wanted to make my DCI McFarlane books part of a series, which has as a backdrop his personal and family life and to develop this as a sub-plot and make it a bit like a cozy crime mystery. My latest book in the series is called ‘Missing But Not Lost’. In this book DCI McFarlane investigates the disappearance of Viscount Peveril’s grandson George. He visits various parts of the country investigating where he has been and then goes out to Manitoba in Canada to try find him and the two friends that have gone with him. At the same time a young police officer has been shot dead by suspected drug dealers in England. It doesn’t take too long for the two investigations to collide and come into conflict with each other.
Where did your inspiration come from for this book?
Whilst working in Derbyshire a few years ago I was told about the real life shooting of a police officer Joseph Moss in the 1800s where the offender came from and went back to Manitoba. I thought it fascinating and thought how well it would work in a modern day investigations setting.
What attracted you to the genre of Mystery /crime fiction?
They say write about what you know and having spent almost all of my adult life as a detective and in particular a homicide detective this is what I know best to write about in a very authentic manner.
If you could write your perfect review of this book, how would it look? What do you want the audience to say?
Rather than me tell you what I think, the below quotes are what independent reviewers have said on reading pre-publication copies of the novel.
‘What an enjoyable read this book was.’
‘DCI Sandy McFarlane is the main character in this new Police Procedural from a new author who, if anyone, should know plenty about Police Procedures. It was a nice surprise to find out that Russell Wate is not only a very good detective but he also knows how to write an exciting page turner of a book!’
‘I hope there will be another one since Russell Wate has a great talent for writing fiction that is engaging and which runs along at a good pace.’
‘I thought the whole story was amazing. I honestly didn’t want this book to end. I can’t wait to see what this author comes up with on the next book they write.’
‘The characters are well-rounded, the plot is believable, and page-turning, so I would recommend this to anyone wanting a good read.’
Is there anything in this novel that could be a curveball the readers should keep an eye out for?
I have been told that I have managed to build up the tension well in at least three to four places within the book that you could possibly call curve balls for a reader.
How much would you say your career has helped you in your writing?
I would say it totally helped, before retiring, I was the Detective Chief Superintendent for Cambridgeshire. In essence this role was the head of crime for Cambridgeshire, the person with responsibility and accountability for tackling crime. If we were in America, it would be called the Chief of Detectives. As well as being involved in for example tackling child abuse, domestic abuse, serious and organised crime, the part of the job I found most enjoyable was leading murder enquiries. I did also have the national policing responsibility across the UK for the investigation of child death. Almost twenty years ago, I was part of the team that investigated the Soham murders of Holly Wells and Jessica Chapman.
Being the second novel you've released, how different was writing this book compared to your last?
I found writing the detective part of the first novel quite easy and this equally carried through to this novel. What I did find though was that I now knew my main characters a lot better and was able to develop their story lines easier. Because we were no longer in lockdown whilst I was writing this novel, I visited a number of the areas that I write about in the book, for example of course still Ely and Cambridge but also North Norfolk and Derbyshire as well. I loved visiting Manitoba in Canada and the two lakes I mention in the novel. In terms of Norfolk my DCI visits the Queen’s estate in Sandringham and following her death I went back and saw all of the flowers and found this pretty overwhelming.
If there anything you can tell us about any upcoming books you're working on, or planning to work on?
I have already finished a complete draft of the next novel in the series and enjoyed visiting Bordeaux and Saint-Emilion in France where it is set as part of my research. I have a couple more edits to do on it before I see if my wonderful publishers Cranthorpe Millner would like to publish it as well. I do hope so!
What one piece of advice would you give to any budding authors out there?
Plot your book so you know the direction that you want to head in with your story and know how your book is going to finish before you write the book.
Russell, thank you for your time today.
Published by Cranthorpe Millner Publishers, Missing But Not Lost (978-1-80378-085-6) is published on 25th October 2022 and is available in paperback (£8.99) and Kindle format.