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Journalist sees debut novel in print after 15 years

A journalist at the Ellesmere Port Pioneer is celebrating the publication of his debut novel – 15 years after he first came up with the idea for the mystery thriller.

News editor Chris Smith, (32), began creating the characters for No More Lonely Nights – which borrows its title from the Paul McCartney song – when he was 15, and since then has spent time working on six drafts and contacting more than 100 publishers in a bid to see his work in print.

Chris said: “To finally have it published and launched is a tremendous achievement for me.”

  • Chris conducts his first book signing.
    Photos: Ellesmere Port Pioneer
  • Centring on a weekend in the life of Detective Constable Dominic Strider, the book finds him faced with a crimewave in the quiet city of Chester and sees him single-handedly deal with a rape, armed robbery, arson, burglary and malicious letters sent to the local MP, whose implication in a high-class prostitute’s death prompts a cover up.

    While dealing with the stresses of the job he is also reeling under the strain of a broken marriage – and then meets an American journalist who he quickly falls in love with.

    Chris said: “The book has a bit of everything – action, drama, romance and humour.

    “I finished the book when I was about 22 or 23, but then real-life intervened – I did my NCTJ, went to work for the Chester Chronicle and got married.”

    But despite so many obstacles Chris kept persevering, and two years ago came across Central Publishing. Since then he has been working with them, and the finished product was launched on December 16.

    Chris said: “The characters mean a lot to me – I’ve spent half my life with them.

    “There is a second book in the pipeline – which I hope will be named Long and Winding Road – and hopefully this is the start of something bigger.”

  • No More Lonely Nights (ISBN 1-904908-29-2) is available to buy, priced £8.99, from