New thriller for Pagham author

Graham Minett
Graham Minett

Pagham author Graham Minett offers a dark, gripping, ingeniously-plotted thriller with the publication in paperback of Lie In Wait.

Until the end of March, Graham was the man who puts together the timetables at the Angmering School. After that, he will be focusing full-time on writing.

The book focuses on Owen Hall, a man who has always been different. A big man with an unusual fixation, one who prefers to put his trust in number patterns rather than in people. It’s unsurprising that he’d draw the attention of a bully.

As the book opens, he draws into a petrol station to let his passenger use the facilities. She never comes back – and what’s more, it seems she never even made it inside. When he raises a fuss, the police are called, and they soon identify Owen himself as a possible culprit, not least because they already have him in the frame for another more sinister crime.

As for that round-about, it was the starting point for the whole story – and actually exists.

“It’s the Shell petrol station at the Bodyshop roundabout coming towards Littlehampton. I don’t know why I put that in. I drove past it for years every day. I used to call in there to get a sandwich for lunchtime or if I needed petrol. I just needed a physical location.But really the whole idea comes out of the male character. He was very different in that when he was very young, there were problems at his birth. As a result of that, he has certain difficulties in terms of his emotional development and speech development.

“He has a bit of a stammer and he is not very good at eye contact. But he does have an astonishing facility with numbers for no reason you can explain. And he is the chap in the car. I can’t really say too much about the woman without giving too much away. He is taking her somewhere, but I can’t really say more. Owen is now in his late 20s and does landscape gardening as a job. There was one person – not the woman in the car – when he was a school who showed some sympathy for him when he was being bullied. But he now comes across her again in his late 20s and discovers that she is married to his chief tormentor.

“The book is in three parts. By the end of part one, you know there has been a murder; by the end of part two, you know who has done it. The third part is about whether or not they are going to be able to bring this person to justice.”

Graham was born in Cheltenham and lived there for 18 years before studying for a degree in modern and medieval languages at Churchill College, Cambridge.

He taught for several years, first in Cheltenham and then in West Sussex before opting to go part-time and start an MA in creative writing in Chichester.

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