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Hometown patch inspires former reporter’s crime trilogy

A former regional reporter turned author has returned to his roots with a three-book series of crimes novels set in his hometown.

Nick Brownlee, left, who worked for the Newcastle Evening Chronicle and Sunday Sun, has published The Bug House under the pen-name of Jim Ford.

The book, which will be followed up by Punch Drunk and In Vitro later this year, features Det Chief Insp Theo Vos and his team of major crime detectives from Northumbria Police CID.

Each short novel will be published initially in ebook form, with a paperback omnibus due for publication in 2015.

“I have always been fascinated by my home city – especially its transformation from grim post-industrial wasteland to gleaming modern metropolis in the 1990s,” he said.

“As a journalist at that time, my job brought me into contact with the people and places that the PR brochures didn’t show, and I was keen to revisit them and their stories.

“DCI Theo Vos, his team, and the cast of villains they encounter during their investigations are of course fictional — but their world isn’t. In some cases only the names have been changed to protect the innocent.”

The Bug House is the first of three crime novels from Nick Brownlee

Nick, who left the North East to become a feature writer with The People in London, has operated as a freelance journalist for the last 10 years in Cumbria.

Under his own name he wrote a series of crime thrillers set in Kenya, and later this year an updated edition of Vive Le Tour, a history of the Tour de France he originally wrote in 2009, is being published by Anova.

The Bug House is available to buy on Amazon.