Former South Yorkshire Police inspector's latest mystery unravelled

Detectives are investigating after an artist woke one morning to discover his girlfriend is missing - and the only clue to where she went is a blood-stained broken window.

Sunday, 7th August 2016, 8:59 am
Michael Fowler with his new book.

But don’t expect a police officer to come knocking on your door for information as the shocking incident is a work of fiction.

This dramatic scene marks the opening sequence of a new book penned by crime-fighter turned crime-writer Michael Fowler.

Authors Michael Fowler, left, and Nick Quantrill at Waterstones in Sheffield.

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The 58-year-old former police inspector spent 30 years bringing murderers, rapists and other serious offenders to justice across South Yorkshire.

But since retiring from the South Yorkshire force he has carved out a second career as a successful crime novelist - and has just launched his seventh book about an artist and his missing partner called Chasing Ghosts.

He explained how many of his own experiences investigating grisly crimes inspires much of his writing.

The father-of-two, from Swinton, said: “A lot of my experiences inform what I put into my books.

Authors Michael Fowler, left, and Nick Quantrill at Waterstones in Sheffield.

“I enjoyed my career in the police and it’s a great bank of memories I’ve got what I can use to my advantage.”

Since retiring in 2006, Michael quickly got to work on penning his first novel ‘Heart of the Demon’, which follows detective sergeant Hunter Kerr as he investigates murders in the fictional town of Barnwell - a combination of Barnsley and Wombwell. This was quickly followed by four more books, all released between 2012 and 2014.

His latest release was more of a slow burner. He came up with the concept about 25 years ago but it was left on a floppy disk file as crime-fighting work took over.

Said Michael: “I had printed out what I thought were my best few chapters from the book and I noticed them again while looking for something else last year. So I decided to pick up the story again and develop it.”

During his career Michael was posted to stations at Doncaster, Barnsley, Mexborough and Wombwell. This included stints in the criminal investigation department specialist vice squad in the 1970s and 80s and later as an inspector for ten years, based in Barnsley and Wombwell. His second career began when he started attending writing classes and noticed that his fellow classmates seemed impressed with his work. He is estimated to have sold more than 40, 000 books.