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Quay News Reveals All

Graham Hurley’s motivation for basing his

latest crime story on Regatta Court been

revealed in an exclusive in the Quay Digest.

These last few years, he has shared countless

offshore and upriver expeditions with

a bunch of like-minded veterans from the

Exmouth Rowing Club. He also happens

to write crime thrillers for a living. And

one ill-judged morning a couple of years

back, these two passions of his – scribing

and oaring – collided head-on with consequences

now available at Best Books on The Parade.

In retrospect, Graham said “we should never have

launched. A four metre tide was roaring out of the

estuary. A southerly wind was strengthening by the

minute. The chop off the dock was already

spectacular, curtained by sudden flurries of rain. By

the time we were abeam Regatta House, it was far too

late to turn back. Making a turn in these conditions

would be suicidal. Commit or die. In these

circumstances, two things happen. The first is that we

all go quiet. This, to risk a pun, is almost unheard-of.

The second, if you’re wise, is to think of anything but

the consequences of a capsize. Drifting seawards in

early spring does nothing for your sense of humour, let

alone the reputation of the club. And so it was that I

started looking very hard at the looming orange bulk

of Regatta House. Who lived in that penthouse

apartment at the top? How come he (or

she) had the best part of two million quid

to spare? And was it true that money, or

the best view in Devon, was a guarantee of

happiness? As an old leftie, I had no doubts

about the last answer. Anyone with that

kind of wealth would be – roughly in this

order – ruthless, single-minded, deeply

unpopular, wildly ambitious, and prone to

all kinds of control-freakery. His boiling

career-wake would be littered with broken

marriages, embittered rivals, and sundry other enemies

who couldn’t wait to rip his head off. This guy,

Alpha-maledom writ large, was a suspicious death just

waiting to happen. At this point, a particularly vicious

wave nearly turned us over but already I knew I had

the makings of a book. Jake Kinsey. Rogue

entrepreneur. Serial divorcee. A man who glances out

of his floor-to-ceiling penthouse window one blustery

March morning and spots us hauling manfully upriver.

He reaches for his binos. He takes a long, hard look at

what we’re up to. And he decides – on the thinnest of

evidence – that this tussle with the elements is

definitely for him. The rest, dare I say it, is history.”

The book’s called Western Approaches and Wendy

at Best Books has autographed copies. Guess what’s

coming next?


My Thanks to Quay News,  Exmouth.