"Superb, tense, action-filled tale with lots of human interest and totally unputdownable."

Bookseller Magazine

DEAD SILENT

DIGGING FOR THE TRUTH CAN BE FATAL

"20 years ago, Britain was rocked by the strange disappearance of Claude Gilbert, after the beaten corpse of his wife was discovered hidden in the garden. Worst of all, scratches found on her makeshift coffin signal that the unthinkable took place - Nancy was buried alive.

 

Conspiracy theories say hotshot barrister and handsome TV presenter Gilbert murdered his wife and then killed himself, but with no body ever found, the mystery has remained unsolved. Until now! When Lancashire crime beat reporter Jack Garrett is contacted by someone claiming to be Gilbert's girlfriend, and that he needs him to write the story proving his innocence, Jack eagerly leaps on the chance to clear a decades-old enigma.

 

But as Jack sets off on the trail of Gilbert - and the news scoop of his career - he quickly finds that the truth is stranger than the headlines. And as Jack chases the story, he and girlfriend Laura McGanity, attempting to earn her sergeant stripes in the local police force, quickly become pawns to a twisted individual with their own agenda!"

 

That's the official cover blurb for what will is the fourth Jack Garrett book, Dead Silent, and my favourite story so far (I accept that I am not particularly neutral on this).

 

Dead Silent was inspired by two things.

 

Firstly, I read an article on some building work that was being done on a Crown Prosecution Service building somewhere like Derby or Nottingham. Excavations uncovered a graveyard from the Black Death. What made the article interesting was that on many of the coffin lids there were scratch marks, on the inside!

 

Secondly, I pondered on what would be the ultimate scoop for a reporter, and I guessed that one of them would be to locate Lord Lucan. I decided to base the story on a Lucan-type figure who has been a fugitive for more than twenty years.

 

The story begins in 1988, when the police go to the home of a well-known local barrister and all-round cad, Claude Gilbert. He and his wife have gone missing. The police discover his wife's body buried in the garden, and it seems that she had been buried alive.

 

Fast-forward twenty years, after two decades of hoax sightings and media speculation as to Claude's whereabouts. Jack is approached by a woman who states that not only does she know where Claude Gilbert is hiding out, but that he is willing to come back to Blackley if Jack can firstly establish his innocence.

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© 2017

 NEIL WHITE

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