Crime writer moves to Portknockie and immortalises village in trilogy

A crime writer who moved to Portknockie in the middle of penning his latest book, has weaved the local landscape into the last of a trilogy that follows the criminal activities of gangsters.

Killing Shadows follows on from The Wrong Man and New Blood, which is a story spanning 30 years.

Michael Elliott said he had just started to write it as he and his wife Debbie moved to the Moray Coast.

A bit of business in Portknockie

He said: “Once I was here, I knew I just had to include the local area somehow, so without giving too much away, I bring the family up to the village as they have ‘a bit of business’ to sort out. They stay in a cottage for three nights and of course enjoy the local hospitality, enjoying a pint or two locally and eat in the local fish and chip shop.

“The story centres on a crime family from Mansfield in Nottinghamshire, their rise to power, and their battle to remain at the top. In Killing Shadows, Phoebe is the head of the family. She assumed that position unexpectedly and is certainly a woman in a man’s world, something she gets reminded of throughout.

“Phoebe is told she’ll always be in the shadow of men. She has to prove herself, and in doing so, has to defend, and fight for everything the family has built up over the past few decades.”

The book is now finished and Michael explains the background to the trilogy.

“My wife, Debbie, and I put the spine of the story together whilst on holiday. It took me around six months to write what turned out to be a 425-page novel. I made the decision, part way through, that I wanted to write a sequel as I had so many ideas of where I could take the story.

“This second book was called New Blood and started right where The Wrong Man finished.

Killing shadows

“Killing Shadows, which is being published as we speak is the third and possibly final book in the series which spans thirty years, and whilst it follows the family in their criminal activities, it also concentrates on the characters’ personalities, characteristics and phenomenology, giving the reader a deep in sight into their conditions of worth.”

Michael said he wanted to include Portknockie because he’d already experienced first-hand how the locals in Mansfield had reacted to being able to identify the streets and places in the books. He said he’d also had lots of support for his books since moving to the area

Breathtaking cliff-top walks

“The people are so friendly and it has everything you need… a pub, a hotel, a shop, a fish and chip shop, a Chinese take away, and a hairdresser… there’s nothing not to like. The cliff-top walks are breathtaking, as is the walk along the beach.

“I wanted to include a bit of this in Killing Shadows for Portknockie, hence why I bring the family up here through the story. In fact they come up twice….. firstly to get a feel for the area, and secondly to do the bit of business I mentioned earlier! 

Killing Shadows is £12.99 from Signed copies are available and it will also be going on Amazon as a paperback and Kindle in due course.

Michael strongly advises that anyone wanting to read Killing Shadows, reads The Wrong Man and New Blood first, as each book follows on from the other.