The latest book by former Brighton police chief Graham Bartlett was published yesterday (Thursday 23 March) days after his debut novel was shortlisted for an award.
Mr Bartlett’s new book, Force of Hate, was published in hardback by Allison and Busby, and he said: “Force of Hate cautions what may happen if abuse of power goes unchecked.”
His debut novel, Bad for Good, which was published last year, has been shortlisted for the Best First Crime Novel of 2022 award at CrimeFest, a celebration of the genre.
As the news emerged, the bestselling Brighton crime writer Peter James said that Mr Bartlett’s new book was “gripping, clever, masterly written and reeking authenticity on every page”.
Mr Bartlett’s literary agent David Headley hosted a launch party at his Brighton bookshop, Goldsboro Books, in Ship Street, last night.
And the publisher, Allison and Busby, called the novel “the second explosive crime thriller set in the dark underbelly of Brighton following the bestselling debut Bad for Good”.
The publisher added: “Chief Superintendent Jo Howe returns in Force of Hate, a pertinently timely, gritty crime thriller that traces the undercurrents of criminal activity in Brighton.
“When a night-time firebomb attack at a Brighton travellers’ site kills women and children, Chief Superintendent Jo Howe has strong reason to believe the new dubiously elected far-right council leader is behind the murders.
“Against the direct orders of her chief constable, Jo digs deep into the killings, secretly briefing the senior investigating officer of her suspicions.
“As she delves further, Jo uncovers an underworld of human trafficking and euthanasia all leading to a devastating plot which threatens thousands of lives and from which the murderous politician looks sure to walk scot-free.
“Having narrowly survived a plot to kill her, where another was not so lucky, she realises that only by facing near-certain death once more can she thwart this terrorist outrage.”
Allison and Busby said: “Graham Bartlett was a police officer for 30 years and is now a bestselling writer.”
Mr Bartlett, 58, joined Sussex Police in his teens and rose to the rank of chief superintendent. He was the police commander of Brighton and Hove when he retired 10 years ago.
The publisher said: “He entered the Sunday Times Top Ten with his first non-fiction book, Death Comes Knocking – Policing Roy Grace’s Brighton, in 2016.
“He followed that up in 2020 with another non-fiction book, Babes in the Wood, the harrowing 32-year fight to bring a double child killer to justice.
“Both these books he co-wrote with international bestseller Peter James.
“More recently, Graham’s fiction debut, Bad for Good, has been a huge commercial and critical success which has recently been awarded Crime Fiction Lover’s Editor’s Choice Debut Crime Novel of 2022.
“Now we expect the latest in the Jo Howe series, Force of Hate, to follow in its footsteps.
“As well as writing, Bartlett is a police procedural and crime adviser, helping many authors and TV writers achieve authenticity in their drama.”
Mr Bartlett faces a modicum of suspense after being shortlisted for the CrimeFest Best First Crime Novel of 2022 award.
He will have to wait until May to learn whether he has won the £1,000 prize which is due to be presented at the CrimeFest gala awards dinner on Saturday 13 May.
Spoilers awash! Good to read the seedy side of Skidrow by Sea being celebrated, again.