Mike worked for the BBC as a sound mixer, wrote for comedy sketch shows, and developed sit-com ideas.
Brought up in Scotland and England, he worked as a script analyst for gap finance company Aramid Capital, and has written many award-winning screenplays.
Mike lives in Oxford with wife Dorrie and a power hungry Terrier named Bonny May Donald.
Louisiana Blood was adapted from his award-winning screenplay and is his first novel.
Bruges Blood the second in the Chandler Travis and Duke Lanoix series is PUBLISHED! And Venice Blood is on a gondola headed your way soon!
HOT NEWS: LOUISIANA BLOOD Kindle and Paperback is now available on Amazon at a discount! Click on Amazon link below the cover.
UPDATE: For all you fans that bought LOUISIANA BLOOD. Scroll down to see the first chapter of:
“Their future starts in the past.”
With the Louisiana torso case closed, and the Jack the Ripper conspiracy solved, Chandler Travis and Duke Lanoix were looking forward to a rest. But when they get a call from Belgium Detective Jochum Van Hoog about a torso found floating in a Bruges canal, it seems their past is coming back to haunt them.
Read on! And post comments if you wish.
Officer Ward Johansson made his way slowly down the dank stone stairs leading into the dusty catacombs beneath the police station. The large box of files in his arms threatened to slip free with every cautious step. The Kartuizerinnenstraat station was based in what had once been a convent back in the sixteenth century. Ward nudged the light switch with his elbow and headed toward an old steel table in the center of the first room.
There had been a lot of rain as during December and the lead up to Christmas, and the gray waters of the canal lapped less than a meter below the dirt encrusted windows. The sun’s pale light filtered through the dust motes that swirled around as he dropped the files onto the table. Ward looked around the dank space and rubbed his hands together to warm them against the chill. He’d made the move from Brussels to Bruges in hopes of becoming a big fish in the smaller pond afforded by the ancient city. Newly married, and with his wife Mari expecting, he needed to get on the promotion ladder and fast.
He looked at his watch. He promised Mari a night in, just the two of them, while they still could. She was planning to cook stoofvlees—his favorite dish. A traditional Flemish stew made with beef broth and beer. He looked down at the big fat g-shock watch on his wrist. A present from Mari when he’d joined the force. She’d seen some special forces guys wearing them on patrol at Brussels railway station shortly after the terrorist attacks.
She told him he needed to look tough out on the streets, and fumbling for his mobile to tell the time wasn’t a good look. He moved the files around, arranging them in chronological order. During the Procession of the Holy Blood, extra officers had been drafted in, and space in the main office had been at a premium. But now that they were headed toward Christmas, the space in the catacombs had been freed up. He’d been involved in the Holy Blood procession as a child and remembered his excitement at seeing the trumpets, the men waving fronds and the sight of a donkey. He’d enjoyed the carnival atmosphere but had no idea of the significance of the parade until many years later. The belief that a reliquary containing a sample of Christ’s blood became liquid on Ascension Day had seemed utter nonsenses to him as a child, and nothing had happened since to change his opinion. Even so, it pulled in thousands of tourists each year ad was one of the most popular attractions of the ancient city. Looking back, he could still remember how annoyed his parents had been, when he had demanded proof of that the miracle actually occurred. It was probably the first sign of what was to become his journey into the police force.
A pile of files was spread out in front of Ward. Chief Pieters had given him an opportunity This turned out to be a massive pile of unsolved cold cases going back years. Ward had a feeling that this wasn’t an altogether altruistic move on the part of Pieters.
The implication was that if he could clear up some of the backlog, it would improve his chances of joining the fast-track detective program. Having seen the number of cases,. Through the grimy leaded windows, he could see the streets were busy with tourists. Queues for the boat tour stretched down the road while ducks and swans bobbed along the canal. The tour guide’s patter echoed across the water from the passing boats.
He went back to his desk and began flicking through the files on the table. They were mostly petty thefts, assaults, house burglaries, pickpocketing, and the odd car theft. None of the cases he’d seen so far would produce a big enough splash to raise his profile and improve his chances of promotion, even if he could solve them. He moved to the next row of files. Outside there was the low throb of an approaching canal boat and the sound of water slapping against the ancient stone walls of the station. He flicked through another file looking for keywords that might signify something of enough importance to dig deeper into. Parking violations, stolen cars and drunken fights were swiftly dumped on the waste of space pile. And then he saw it. A tourist had reported that his son had been offered drugs in the Market at the skating rink. He skimmed through more files and found three other reports, all logged during the Christmas season. There was no real evidence, other than the dealer had long blond hair. Ward smiled. This ticked all the boxes. Drugs, children at risk and more than one complaint. He moved the four files into a neat pile and rubbed his eyes. The flickering fluorescent lights and the deep throb of an approaching boat’s engine were giving him a headache.
He heard a dull thud, and a woman screamed. He looked up in time to see the prow of a boat smash through the window. Bricks exploded into the room and a wall of freezing water slammed the steel table into him, pinning him against the wall behind. He heard the engine roar as the driver threw it into reverse. It tore free, sending another surge of water sweeping over him. With the heavy table against his chest, and the water pouring through the window his head was soon beneath the surface. The light above flickered off. He was almost out of air. His vision dimming, blood pounding in his ears. He felt sodden sheets of paper clinging to his face. And then it all went dark.
LOUISIANA BLOOD began life as a screenplay. It won or was placed in over 25 competitions, was performed on stage and gained me the offer of representation in LA with Anonymous Content. It was set up as part of a huge Canadian Film fund and producers came and went. A few years on and I decided that the story was too good to remain an un-produced screenplay and so with the backing of many hundred followers and the support of my family it was reborn as a novel. But how did the idea first surface…?
Forget everything you’ve ever read about Jack The Ripper…he never existed!
Let me start by explaining why I wrote this story. I’ve always been into conspiracy theories, after all history has taught us that there’s usually always a hidden agenda behind the big story, and sooner or later, the real story will come out. I looked at the mythology of one of the greatest serial killers in England, and possibly the world…not because of the scale of his activities…but rather the timing of his arrival.
I’m talking about JACK THE RIPPER, his actions were the catalyst for a huge amount of change within the world, and the case had an impact on many areas, Prostitution, the birth of the tabloid press, major development in the east end of London, a massive shake up in the police department and a new focus on forensics, not to mention the political shake up within the royal family and the sacking of the police commissioner…in short, a whole lot of people and organisations were never going to be the same…and while I’m reading about this, I’m thinking…what if that was what this was about? What if JACK THE RIPPER never existed?
I wanted to write an epic conspiracy thriller as an alternate history novel, linking the conspiracy of London in 1888 with a contemporary thriller in Louisiana, something with the imaginative duplicity of MISSION IMPOSSIBLE and the artifice of THE PRESTIGE.
And so LOUISIANA BLOOD was born:
LOUISIANA BLOOD is a FINALIST in the 2018 ScreenCraft Cinematic Book Competition, selected from over 1200 submissions…WATCH THIS SPACE!
CHANDLER TRAVIS, a London Detective recovering from injuries sustained during the terrorist bombings of 2007, works as an archivist and lecturer in the BLACK MUSEUM at New Scotland yard. His obsession to uncover the real identity of Jack The Ripper continues a family tradition stretching back to his great grandfather, a newspaper reporter at the time of the Ripper killings.
He’s even writing a book, the problem is, he doesn’t have an ending…well not yet anyway. So when he learns that a coach, buried in a LOUISIANA swamp for over a century has been unearthed containing five female corpses a diary and some letters from one DR FRANCIS J TUMBLETY, a key Ripper suspect, he gets the first flight out.
When he joins the investigation headed up by DUKE LANOIX, a local sheriff, things start to get complicated…local governor ROMAN BLACKBURN seems hell bent on shutting their investigation down, and is prepared to go to any lengths to stop them. Despite attempts on their lives and the destruction of their evidence, they close in on the truth.
But Governor Blackburn has his own agenda…and it doesn’t include their survival!
LOUISIANA BLOOD was The Idiosyncraticate Syndicate and the Thriller Night syndicate pick of the month, and an Inkshares staff pick! It was voted number one in the Mill City press mystery genre, and was made a distinguished favourite for its cover in the 2018 Independant Press Awards.
If you have any questions or need help just e-mail me: