Arundel novelist ponders ghost from the past in latest thriller

Arundel-based journalist and editor Jo Rothery returns to the Scottish Borders for her latest thriller.

Jo Rothery
Jo Rothery

Skip to the End is published by Kindle at £1.99, available via Amazon.

Jo explains: “Skip to the End is the third in a series, featuring the same location and characters. It is based in the Scottish Borders which is where I come from.

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“The first in the series, A Twist in the Fairytale, was co-written by myself and my close friend, Frances Benton. By then I had moved to the south of England and was very homesick. Similarly, Frances had moved away and also missed the Borders. We had always collaborated on a number of major charity fundraising events so both of us were missing that element of our lives and the time we spent together, so the book was an idea that cropped up to keep us together in some way.

“We based it in the Borders town where we had both lived and worked for many years. It was quite tricky to co-write at a distance so we were firing chapters back and forth between us – some written almost entirely by one or the other.

“We brought in lots of characters similar to people we had encountered as well as some events which were very close to the truth.

“Having originally sketched out a fairly detailed plot, we stuck pretty closely to that but other ideas kept on cropping up and were included.

“We both enjoyed the experience so much that we embarked on the second in the series, Marriage Mayhem and Malice.

“But by then Frances had moved to France and was very busy with a new business venture so her input in that book was minimal.

“Skip to the End was written entirely by me but I have tried to stick to our original formula of bringing in some humour and romance as well as the criminal element so that it would appeal to a wide range of readers.”

Jo added: “The first novel was important to me because by then, as an editor, I was working primarily with other people’s copy and doing very little writing myself, something I missed greatly.

“I have always loved writing and during the coronavirus lockdown, I’m now writing the fourth in the series, again with the same characters but introducing some new ones.

“I think it is always important to write about what you know, as far as possible, and in my case the books take me back to my roots, places and people I love and still miss.

“I’ve always been involved with the voluntary sector and now do voluntary PR for a number of small charities, so that element regularly appears in my books.

“In Skip to the End, romance crops up unexpectedly for the resolutely independent owner of an animal rescue centre.

“Her close friends’ charity endeavours are also going from strength to strength but a ghost from the past comes back to haunt them in the form of a vicious escaped criminal out for revenge. All they hold dear is at risk but a dark hero steps in. Will it lead to a tragic accident – or murder?”

To order, go to“I am now writing the fourth book in the sequel. For me that’s the perfect way to spend my time during the coronavirus lockdown.

“I’m a words person, have always loved writing and have had a long career at senior level in journalism.”


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