Author’s book launch is in Touching Distance

Bestselling crime author - and Exmouth resident - Graham Hurley will be at the Exmouth RNLI coffee m

Bestselling crime author - and Exmouth resident - Graham Hurley will be at the Exmouth RNLI coffee morning at Budleigh Salterton Public Hall, signing copies of his latest novel. - Credit: Archant

A wealthy go-getting entrepreneur has fallen to his death from his penthouse apartment in Exmouth Quays.

While a mystery serial killer leaves a litter of bodies across East Devon.

For fictional detective Jimmy Suttle, who has set himself up in a near-derelict cottage on the western flank of the Otter Valley, there are no clues and no leads - just victim after victim, despatched with chilling efficiency.

Touching Distance is an East Devon-based murder mystery penned by internationally acclaimed crime writer Graham Hurley.

Graham, who lives on the Beacon, is inviting Journal readers to the launch of his new novel at Best Books in The Parade, Exmouth on Friday, November 22.

As a callow Detective Constable, new to CID, Jimmy survived seven busy years on the Portsmouth Major Crime Team, learning his craft at the feet of the legendary DC Paul Winter. After the excitements of trying to nail big city villains, how would he respond to sleepy Devon?

Graham said: “My publishers, Orion, asked exactly the same question. Mention of the West Country left them deeply unimpressed.

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“Cutting-edge crime fiction, they pointed out, was getting darker, nastier and more metropolitan by the day.

“Why would anyone want to read about thatched cottages and cream teas?”

But Jimmy Suttle ignored them, setting himself up in a draughty cottage with a leaky roof and armies of dormice patrolled nightly.

The heating never worked. Then his wife Lizzie followed with infant daughter Grace in tow and Suttle’s problems multiplied.

An investigative journalist by trade, she’d abandoned a job she loved. Now she faced an eternity of incessant rain and a daughter who never stopped crying.

Graham added: “The book that launched the series, Western Approaches, charts the rapid disintegration of the marriage.

“Maddened by life in rural Devon, Lizzie takes a fancy to a member of the local rowing club who turns out to be the prime suspect in a murder enquiry in which her husband is playing a key role.”

“But the price of cracking the case is his own marriage.”

He adds: “By now, DS Suttle – like me – has become wiser to the ways of the West Country. “Crime down here, to risk a pun, may be subtler than the sharp-elbowed bedlam of Portsmouth but bad stuff still happens.

“People still get jealous. And desperate.”