AddThis SmartLayers

Old crime stories inspire editor’s first novel

michael-purton-1The editor of three weekly newspapers has used crimes he reported on as inspiration for his debut novel.

Michael Purton, left, who edits Newsquest weeklies the Stroud News & Journal, Wilts and Gloucestershire Standard and Gloucestershire Gazette, has written Silhouettes, which is partially set on the patches of the papers.

The book, which is published by Newsquest, follows teenager Ezra and young journalist Alex as they become embroiled in the violent world of a gang of hitmen who target “those who deserve to die”.

Michael, 32, chose “respectable” Gloucestershire as the novel’s setting.

He explained: “Gloucestershire has a reputation for being a well-to-do place but anyone who reads our local newspapers will know that we have our fair share of crime.

“The county is the perfect place to set a crime novel – there’s a real sense of brooding atmosphere in the backstreets of our scenic town centres and sprawling countryside.”

Michael has previously worked for dailies the Gloucestershire Echo and Gloucester Citizen.

He was also a court reporter in London and a freelance journalist in Tokyo.