City’s streets are inspiration for debut working class crime novel

Back to his roots: David and his family
Back to his roots: David and his family
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The back streets of Preston have provided the inspiration for a debut gritty crime novel.

David Hesketh, who was brought up in Lancashire but now lives in Dubai where he runs an oil and gas company, has published Tracer, a gangland tale about a group of small-time crooks from Preston.

Tracer, the new crime novel by Wigan-born author David Hesketh who now lives in Dubai

Tracer, the new crime novel by Wigan-born author David Hesketh who now lives in Dubai

The book represents a considerable shift away from the Billy the Badger series of children’s books David is currently two volumes into, inspired by the gentle stories his father told him as a child.

However, Tracer does also bring David back to his roots as he drew much of the inspiration for the book from his experiences of growing up on a working-class council estate.

David, 48, said: “The book is obviously extremely fictional but it does come from what I’ve seen around the North West of England.

“I think I grew up on a pretty crime-ridden estate and it was always something in the back of my mind.

“I’ve also amalgamated various jobs I’ve done in the novel and I’ve tried to make it a bit like the film Snatch with some humour, some violence and a few things that will leave you doing double takes.

“I’ve based it around Preston, Wigan, Manchester, pretty much all over the region where people are doing drugs and there are lap dancing bars.

“But I’ve made some things less serious and elaborated on others.”

Tracer was released online in October and has been so succesful that David is already in talks about potentially bringing some form of the novel to either the TV or cinema screen in future.

David says he is particularly enjoying writing about the North West as the region often gets overlooked by authors in the field of crime novels.

He will be looking to concentrate on books for adults once he has finished the half-dozen children’s stories he has planned and is already coming up with further ideas.

He said: “My second book will also be based in the North West but it will be a bit different, this one will feature assassins.

“Crime novels are usually based around London, about The Krays and subjects like that, you don’t typically get anything up north.

“For the next one I’m also looking to bring in some new characters and subjects.

“I’m interested in writing about illegal booze runs from Dover and that kind of thing. I just want to push lots of real-life scenarios but make them fictional.

“I’m enjoying writing crime novels based in the North West but I still think it’s early days for me as an author.”

Tracer, by David Hesketh, is out now from