Former cop turns his hand to books

A POLICEMAN-turned-author who spent his career chasing real-life murderers has drawn on his own experiences to write a series of books about serial killers.

Former CID Inspector Michael Fowler is not short on inspiration for his crime-fiction novels after 30 years tracking killers, rapists and sex offenders across South Yorkshire.

Since his retirement in 2006, the 53-year-old Swinton man has penned two books, and a third one is in the works.

Michael said: “A lot of what I write is based on my own experiences or at least stuff what has happened to other people that i’ve witnessed.

“You get a different feel from being at a crime scene. At a post mortem, or a crime scene where there is a lot of blood, they have a certain smell and atmosphere that you can only get from being there.

“Because I’ve been in these situations it’s often very easy for me to then put it down on paper.”

His semi-biographical novels follow Det Sgt Hunter Kerr and Dc Grace Marshall as they investigate a series of gruesome murders.

Michael’s debut Heart of the Demon, released last year, had the crime-fighting duo on the trail of a serial killer in the Dearne Valley.

The villain left cryptic clues such as playing cards at the side of his victims’ bodies.

Much of the book takes place in the ficticious town of Barnwell, a mixture of Barnsley and Wombwell.

Michael has just finished the sequel to the book, titled Cold Death, which will be released next summer.

The story begins just weeks after the events of the first book, when Ds Kerr witnesses a murderous road rage attack on his parents.

As he delves deeper, Hunter uncovers disturbing facts and suspects his father is a harbouring a sinister secret from his past.

And there could be links to the torturous murders of three retired detectives back in his father’s native Scotland.

Michael’s broad imagination has allowed him to get cracking with the third installment in the series, which has the working title ‘Burning the Past’.

And his writing methods are similar to those in his crime fighting days.

He said: “I have like an incident board up in my study and I piece things together as I go along.

“It allows me to sequence the events together in chronological order and makes the writing process much easier.

“I do it for the love of writing and I’ll hopefully be able to keep the series going.”