Former career is novel influence

Fair cop: Barry Lees has turned from pounding the beat to spinning crime tales in his new job as an author
Fair cop: Barry Lees has turned from pounding the beat to spinning crime tales in his new job as an author
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A former Police Officer, who swapped the beat for the classroom has now turned his hand to writing crime novels.

After he retired from Lancashire Police force, Barry Lees, 52, from Preston, took a degree course in creative writing at the University of Cumbria, Lancaster Campus, where he now lectures on policing courses.

And now, a short story that was created as a simple writing exercise, has been turned into a novel.

Barry, who joined the police force as a 16-year-old cadet said: “During my degree course we were asked to come up with a piece of writing in the style of someone we admired so I decided to do mine in a similar way to Raymond Chandler who I am greatly influenced by.

“When I had handed in the piece I thought I would carry it on and it shortly turned into the first novel.”

That story turned into two full-length, crime mystery novels, featuring Barry’s creation, U.S. Marine Captain turned San Francisco private eye, Kerrigan, who takes on the dirty work of the wealthy and gets embroiled in their secrets, greed and murder whilst struggling to deal with his own battlefield memories.

The first novel, ‘This City of Lies’ went live on Kindle in 2013, the second ‘The Governor’s Man’ was released this year and the third is due for release in 2015.

Barry, who had several uniformed and plain clothes roles in a career spanning more than 30 years, said: “My career as a police officer has influenced my writing a little but San Francisco in 1959 is a little different to Lancashire in the 80’s.

“During my time in the police force I worked on a lot of murder cases and armed robberies in and around Lancashire so I’m sure they have helped me put together similar scenarios.

“And, having met people who have committed murders, that has given me a great insight into the thought process and psychology behind why they commit the crimes.”

Nowadays Barry is busy working on another story.

He said: “It’s about a young couple in love who take different paths in life.

“One becomes a cop and the other becomes a criminal.”

‘This City of Lies’ and ‘The Governor’s Man’ are both available at www.amazon.co.uk/kindlebooks.