RETIRED South Yorkshire police detective Michael Fowler is still solving murders on his old patch – but this time as the author of a new series of crime novels.
The 55-year-old married father of two left the county force six years ago after 32 years of solving real murders, rapes and other crimes.
But the former CID inspector is back on the beat in the form of fictional hero Detective Sergeant Hunter Kerr, a semi-autobiographical character he created, based around his own crime-busting days.
And he has set the thrillers in a place he calls Barnwell – a mixture of Barnsley and Wombwell – but featuring real places from his old stomping ground, including Harlington, Great Houghton and Hoyland.
He has even included his local, the George and Dragon at Wentworth.
Debut novel Heart Of The Demon, first published two years ago, was the hunt for a savage serial killer – preying on young girls and leaving behind a trail of playing card clues.
Now it has been republished, along with a new sequel, Cold Death, which involves Hunter Kerr unearthing a dark family secret as he pursues a sadistic and violent cop killer.
He was also the recent co-author of Safecracker, the biography of one of the Britain’s most infamous safe blowers of the 20th century, Sheffield’s Albert Hattersley, aged 90.
Michael is also an acclaimed seascape and landscape artist.
He says he has a unique advantage on many crime writers, because his novels are based on real policing methods and practices.
Michael even went back to work to get clued up on South Yorkshire Police’s relatively new cold case unit – which was not around in his day - to find out how DNA and other detective work is now solving crimes which are many years old.
Michael, of Wath Upon Dearne, said: “It’s impossible to work for so long in the police force at all the different levels that I have and not have a bank of stories to inspire my fiction.
“This is fiction though, albeit heavily inspired by experience.
“Yorkshire provides the perfect backdrop and enjoys many of the similarities of great Scandinavian crime fiction with its harsh and unrelenting, but beautiful landscapes.”
n Heart of the Demon and Cold Death are out now, priced £8.99 each.