About Keith Wright
Keith was brought up on a council estate in a rough area of Nottingham and attended the local comprehensive school. His father was an alcoholic and left when he was ten, his mother, Marie, brought him, and his four siblings up on her own, whilst balancing a full-time job. His mother loved
reading and he too became interested. His mother would usually be later home from work than school finishing time, so he would call into the local library on his walk home. Whilst at the time this seemed inconvenient, (although it was a good place to get warm and dry in winter), it was, of course a blessing, as it enabled him to evolve his own love of books.
After being told by his careers officer at school that he had no chance whatsoever of getting into the police force, he decided to try himself, and wandered into the local police station at the age of fifteen to enquire what he must do. By some fluke he managed to pass the entrance exam and
interviews and he was accepted into the police force. He worked the area where he had grown up, and this meant that everyone knew him, and so he was trusted, and was able to understand what was going on in the area. He also occasionally had to arrest some of his old school friends for various crimes. It was always good to catch up with these mini-re-unions!
Keith was the youngest officer to go on to the CID, at the time, with only three years’ service as a uniformed cop. It was to become a fascinating, infuriating and incredible time. It was a roller-coaster ride which ended with a bump. Keith spent 25 years in the police service retiring in 2005 as a Detective Sergeant. He then began working for a global business, leading investigations, and currently Heads the Serious and Corporate Investigations Team.
He still lives in Nottingham and is engaged to Jackie. He has four wonderful children, twins, Chris and Andy, who lives with his fiancée Katie, a classical singer. Chris and Andy are also writers and have done some amazing bodies of work. His son, Harry is at university, doing a degree in Computer Science but has discovered a love of acting and has performed in various productions. ‘Follow your heart, son’. Then there is the lovely chatterbox, Lily, who is 9 years old and without knowing inspires Keith to keep on going. There is a lot of creativity in the Wright family!
Keith has a great relationship with Jackie’s grown up children, Aron and his partner Ayla, Ashley and his wife April, and Callum. With all the family interaction it is a wonder any writing gets done at all!
Keith’s novels are set in the 1980’s and involve the investigations of DI Stark and his team of detectives in Nottingham CID. It is no coincidence that the author was a Detective in Nottinghamshire CID in the 1980’s!
His books, first published in the early 1990’s as contemporary fiction, achieved critical acclaim and his first novel One Oblique One was shortlisted for the Crime Writers Association John Creasy Award for the best debut crime novel of the year in 1991. This was the first year that the award was opened up to global competition and Keith was pipped to the award by the fabulous Walter Moseley’s Devil in a Blue Dress.
The author was fortunate to publish three further Inspector Stark novels to some critical approval:
Trace and Eliminate
Addressed to Kill
Fair Means or Foul
Keith was asked to contribute to a short story anthology for the Crime Writers Association called Perfectly Criminal published by Seven House, among such luminaries as Ian Rankin, Val McDermid and HRF Keating. He wrote The Missing Link for inclusion in the book.
He was also asked to contribute to a short story anthology called City of Crime published by Five Leaves Publications, alongside great authors, Alan Sillitoe, John Harvey and David Belbin. Keith’s contribution was 'From the Cradle'.
Keith is re-mastering his novels introducing new characters and additional scenes and has decided to open them up to a new readership both on-line and through traditional format. It is remarkable how much life has changed in the last thirty years and the novels are now an insight into what life was like before mobile phones and the internet!
During interviews on television and radio Keith has explained what inspired him:
‘As a teenager I read Ed McBain’s 87 th Precinct novels and was totally engrossed. It was a revelation to me! I couldn’t get enough of them, and I like to think that the gritty realism and character observation in my books, in some way, stems from that introduction by a master of his genre.’
When asked why he had decided to re-visit his novels Keith said:
‘I have grown as an individual and a writer throughout the years, as well as experiencing so much more in investigating the under-belly of society. I still have so much to say. I am fascinated by the human condition and its ability to survive in the gravest of circumstances. Times have changed and
while I am honoured that thousands of people have read my books over the years, the world is a much more connected place and I would be thrilled to broaden my audience. Anyway, who doesn’t like a good story?’
Keith hopes you enjoy the books – there are more to follow!
It is the summer of 1987.
It is three years away from the world-wide web being inaugurated. It is ten years before the first accessible mobile phone, and a whole twenty years before the first iPhone is launched. 'It's a Sin' by the Pet Shop Boys is number one in the charts, available on cassette and vinyl. The sun is rising on political correctness; news of this has yet to reach the detectives of Nottingham C.I.D. Racist words are still used without challenge. AIDs is rife. Hugging is for hippies, and the author of this book has recently been appointed a Detective in the C.I.D. Of course, some things were the same as today; people still get bludgeoned to death in their own homes. Same as it ever was. You just can't tweet about it yet.
Detective Inspector Stark and his team of detectives investigate the brutal murder of the Marriott family, discovered in their own homes. The murderer? It could be foppish Charles Lyon, wealthy but pathetic sugar daddy, or Winston Kelly, notorious Rastafarian drug-dealer with psychotic tendencies, or the burglar, who is seen at the location at the time of the offence, or... or... Stark and his team wrestle with getting to the truth, which remains just outside of their grasp, until they obtain a clue from an unlikely source, but by then, it is too late...
The author, a former real-life detective, re-visits his critically-acclaimed, gritty debut, with new scenes and new characters. A real 'page-turner' for fans of crime novels and thrillers, or those merely intrigued enough to explore the depths to which humanity can sink.
The internet is yet to be born and the iphone is over twenty years from its inception. A packet of cigarettes costs £1.60 and a loaf of bread is 40p. Margaret Thatcher has just won a record third term as Prime Minister and ‘Never Gonna Give You Up’ by Rick Astley is number 1 in the Charts.
Some things don’t change however; greed, love, jealousy, and a knife sliding through a carotid artery tend to have the same impact on people’s lives as they ever did.
In the second of The Inspector Stark series, DI Stark and his team battle to solve a murder which appears to be without motive. DI Stark also battles with his anxiety; DC Charlie Carter battles his haemorrhoids and DPW Steph Dawson battles with her Sergeants advances.
An up and coming solicitor lies on a mortuary slab. He is a hard-working family man who appears to have everything. Who could possibly want to kill him? The ruthless and savage killer, who knows precisely why; remains at large.
Detective Inspector Stark and the team have scarcely begun their investigation when a second death occurs: another horrific and motiveless murder, or so it seems. Are the two linked in some way? Are more going to die? How can they be stopped? A group of suspects emerge, one is the killer, and one the next to die.
Stark’s investigation eventually lays bare a sinister sequence of events, a motive where the past returns to haunt the present – a roller coaster ride of hate, fuelled by revenge.
Stark stages a most original eavesdrop on a solemn occasion, and the police net closes in on an unexpected killer.
Trace and Eliminate ‘combines the virtues of an insider’s knowledge with the dramatic power of a true storyteller’.
Christmas is Murder!
It is 1987. A perverted criminal sociopath is on the loose. An innocent young woman is murdered in horrific circumstances.
DI Stark announces, ‘Christmas is cancelled,’ and his team investigate, aware that every second the maniac is on the loose moves him closer to his next victim.
A second woman is raped and brutalised.
How is the killer discovering intimate secrets about his victims? Why does he insist on terrifying them during the lead up to the attacks? What is driving this depravity? Who will the next victim be?
In his attempts to protect the public, DI Stark makes a huge error of judgement which will have appalling consequences.
Critically acclaimed author, Keith Wright is a former CID Detective. His professional knowledge of police investigations, coupled with a formidable talent for storytelling, combine to make his third novel a must for all crime fiction enthusiasts and thriller readers alike.
‘I do not know what second it will be, what minute it will be, what hour, or even day. But it will come. You may see it coming. You may not. Regardless, I can guarantee you; there will be a moment like no other when you will draw your last breath. Like it or lump it. And at that moment you will see your final view of the world. However, what I do not know, is whether your last glimpse will be the sympathetic countenance of a loved one or the grotesque, contorted, teeth-clenched face of a crazed killer. Nor do you. That is yet to be determined. Other options are available.’
Paul Masters, a family man, awakes to find his wife and daughter murdered. But how? It seems impossible. He is arrested for the crime. As he suffers a breakdown, Paul admits to the killing, but DI Stark and his team have serious doubts. When another horrific rape and murder takes place, these doubts seem well-founded, and the race is on to catch the maniac who will stop at nothing to feed his depravity.
He’s affable. Rather shy, quite a gentleman, and he loves his mother.
But don’t smile. Don’t attract his attention. For Christ’s sake don’t agree to meet. He’s hunting. It will be a date with death.
He’s a stalker, an obsessive, and depraved. Worse he doesn’t know it. You see it’s all your fault. You made him do this. You turned him into The Creep Outside.
Another suspense-filled case for Detective Inspector David Stark that will reveal murder and end with a tragedy shocking Stark and Nottingham CID to its core.
It is 1987. Pre-digital-age. The micro-chip was around but hadn't yet landed. People read the ingredients on cereal boxes at the breakfast table, rather than peering into the hypnotic abyss of a mobile phone. Children dream of owning a multi-coloured – multi-nibbed pen – the height of wonderment, with no possible concept of owning a miraculous device that connects you to everything, and everyone on the planet. They look forward to local events and activities, with family and friends, such as the cinema, the park, football matches, rock concerts, the travelling fair, circus and so on.
The iPhone is two decades away, and accessible technology has pretty much been the same for the last hundred years, some families have a cheap computer called a Spectrum with squishy keyboard keys. The landline telephone, however, is still the star of the show. Nobody knows it is the calm before the storm.
Possessions change, but people don't. They mostly remain the same; driven by the same emotions and desires, lust and greed, they love, kiss, cry, fight, steal and kill, just as they have done on any other day in the last five thousand years of humanity.
Somebody suffers. Somebody seeks the truth. Somebody seeks justice.
In 1987 the truth-seeker was Detective Inspector David Stark.
Single mum Jane Cooper is forced into an altercation with a woman in a supermarket. It seems quite innocuous, but escalates, and despite Jane’s best efforts to calm the situation, the aggressor is knocked to the floor.
The problem is the woman happens to be one Sharon Brown, the wife of one of the most feared gangster duos in England; Dougie Brown and his maniacal brother Len ‘the bitch’ Brown.
Sharon Brown is more seriously hurt than first thought, and the Brown brothers feel that their name and reputation has been weakened because of the humiliating episode. So, Jane Cooper must be found, and an example made of her. Everyone connected to her is now in grave danger.
Those in Jane’s circle begin to pay the price of her upsetting Sharon and Dougie Brown. Jane is the ultimate target, but she must suffer first.
Detective Inspector David Stark and his team battle psychotic criminals and sinister forces within their ranks to protect Jane and bring the criminals to justice. It is not easy, and when Jane suddenly disappears, the clock is ticking.
In 1978 witnessing a tragic accident as a child leaves Benny Smith psychologically scarred for many years.
In 1987 he is suddenly and unexpectedly released from the mental health institution that has been his home for nearly a decade.
Haunted by the incident and lacking sufficient support, his disorder creates within him a disturbing and curious fascination which can only be gratified by killing children.
As the CID investigate, Detective Inspector David Stark is struggling with his own demons and discovers that he and the killer have something in common.
Short Story and Poetry Anthologies
TWELVE SHORT CRIME STORIES WITH A STING IN THE TAIL.
A family plagued by an abusive father finally take their revenge.
A detective completes a shift at work like no other. He couldn’t see the hit coming, and he couldn’t see the positive impact he’d had on so many lives.
THE MISSING LINK
A detective holds a retirement party. His old friend indicates he knows the truth.
A devoted son carries out his mother’s wishes.
DEAD TO THE WORLD
A detective stumbles across a murder. The problem is, he is alone with the killer and
there is no way out.
A woman is abused in her back garden. But are things really what they seem?
A Catholic priest is new to the parish and befriends a lady parishioner.
A loving husband and father, discovers a horrific scene and blames himself.
An aging artist falls in love with his muse. But is she as devoted to him?
FRIENDS AND NEIGHBOURS
An elderly couple find themselves next door to a problem family. Surely they will listen to reason?
FROM THE CRADLE
A young detective discovers his partners impropriety, but he learns a life lesson which conflicts with his instincts.
JIMMY TICKLE’S CHRISTMAS
Jimmy Tickle’s Christmas is a heartwarming story that shows how one act of kindness can change the world.
Little Jimmy Tickle is the sweetest, kindness little boy who has a lot to contend with.
He is an extraordinary young boy, and whilst there was no-one to feel proud of him, as such, had there been someone, they would have been very proud indeed.
His Christmas wish each year is for his father to come home. Then a late-night visitor arrives on Christmas Eve. Rather than Santa Claus, Jimmy discovers a man desperate to get a present for his children. Jimmy chats to him and shares what little he has with the man.
News of the kindness spreads and Jimmy Tickle has the kind of Christmas he has longed for. The story ends in tears…of joy.
Jimmy Tickle’s Christmas shines a festive light on how compassion and positivity can overcome adversity.
The successor to ‘Killing Dad and other crime short stories.’
Twelve crime short stories each with a sting in the tail.
A daughter discovers a family secret which has powerful consequences.
Forget Me Not
A husband’s dream to emigrate is slipping through his hands, as is his wife.
Who Is Mr Whitaker?
A loving father attends his son’s wedding, but he is inexplicably ostracised, and tragedy lurks.
An elderly lady takes her regular route to the park, but she is being watched.
A cop retires and attends a surprise party held in his honour. Will he ever leave alive?
One Last Chance
A corrupt police officer is given one last chance to reform his ways.
A Mother’s Love
A woman observes the deadly tribulations of her son, unable to help.
I Witnessed My Murder
A woman raped and murdered is brought back from the dead.
Death For Hire
A young man arranges for an assassin to kill him.
The Second Coming
A seemingly innocuous burglary has consequences for humanity.
A detective’s conscience tells him to do the right thing, but he will rue the day he did. Read now!
A Christmas For Carol
What the Dickens? The run-up to Christmas for a burglar holds a mirror up to his life. His decision to change his life is for the best. Isn’t it?
Multiple award-winning author Keith Wright is best known for his ‘Inspector Stark’ crime thriller series.
Keith has previously been co-opted into contributing short stories for the Crime Writers Association Anthology, City of Crime Anthology and others, including The Mystery Tribune in New York.
His stories have appeared alongside such luminaries as Sir Ian Rankin, Alan Sillitoe and Peter Robinson.
Now his second short story anthology is about to blow your socks off!
60 poems that cross the ages and emotions, including:
Soul For Sale - Explores a man recounting his life's misdemeanours.
Claire - Two lovers meet in times gone past, but tragedy awaits.
Dots and Spaces - What do the gaps between words mean?
Mind the Gap - My wife's lover.
Shouting Up The Stairs - A desperate father shouts up the stairs to his daughter but realises he is shouting to himself.
Dear Old Friend - Old friends meet, but one knows the secret he keeps.
Pebble On A Wall - A young boy carries a moment in time to adulthood.
You Saw Me Today - An older person dwells on the stages of their life, despite being seen by a friend at that particular moment.
Out on the Heath - In centuries past, a lover searching for her soul mate, but will she ever find them?
Alongside the Inspector Stark Series, Keith has written numerous other novels, short stories and poems, both within and outside the Crime genre. Perhaps most notably, his work was showcased in the Perfectly Criminal and City of Crime anthologies, besides such luminaries as Ian Rankin and Alan Sillitoe.
These short stories stories - From the Cradle and The Missing Link can be read in their entirety by clicking on their respective book covers above.
The Sleeper can be read here.
Memoirs and Non-Fiction
The complete diary and events of the COVID-19 pandemic, told in three parts.
This day-by-day factual and complete account of events throughout the coronavirus pandemic, written as it happened, gives incredible insight into what life was like during this tragic and historic pandemic in the United Kingdom and worldwide.
It includes facts and figures, government initiatives, news events, moving individual accounts, and the horrific consequences, as they happened each day.
There is also a daily, personal slant on what life was like for the author and his family during what threatened to be an apocalyptic event.
Not including the preamble, the diary covers 491 days, beginning in earnest on 16th March 2020 until ‘Freedom Day’ on 19th July 2021. It has been something of a commitment for the author, resulting in around 1,700 pages; well over half a million words; determined to get the best, and most interesting stories for you to read and to keep as a record of the times for generations to come.
It reveals all humanity in its idiocy, compassion and brilliance; the key elements, significant dates, statistics, human stories, tragedies, government strategies, the twists and turns, the humour and the obtuse.
The coronavirus will define this generation and identify these times, like other rare global historical events such as the bubonic plague and the World Wars.
This book is something to show your children and grandchildren when they ask you what it was like during such a frightening time. It can also be used as a point of reference for historians, commentators, and educators. It is also merely for posterity.
Were you alive? Do you recall it? Do you remember our Prime Minister almost died with Covid-19? Remember, murderers in jail being vaccinated weeks before the prison officers? The Queen saying ‘we’ll meet again’ during lockdown? Surely you recollect the EU conducting ‘an act of hostility’ towards the UK to get their hands on our vaccines? The thirty police officers fined for having a haircut, or the first man in the world to be vaccinated being called William Shakespeare from Stratford Upon Avon!
The whole world was plunged into chaos, with death, suffering and economic disaster. How did we cope? How did all of this happen? According to Keith’s wife, Jackie, it was ‘all because a man ate a bat!’