Eastbourne is a key location for A Kind of Retribution

Eastbourne is a key location in A Kind of Retribution (Olympia Publishers, £9.99) from author Don Townshend.

Don Townshend
Don Townshend

Don, aged 74, said: “My original idea was to create a beginning to the story which would perhaps point the reader in a certain direction. I love a bit of misdirection which surprises the reader when events take an unexpected turn.

“I have known Eastbourne since I was a child in the 1950s and really wanted to develop a plot which reflected the beauty of the area and also might just tempt readers to visit Eastbourne and enjoy the place as much as I do.

“The South Downs provides a wonderful backdrop. My characters spend time at Beachy Head, Sovereign Harbour, The Grand Hotel, Devonshire Theatre, East Beach, Eastbourne Pier etc.

“My childhood memories of Eastbourne have stayed with me to this day. So much so that my wife and I visit every year. You could say that I am in love with Eastbourne.

“My story also features Lewes and Brighton.

“My inspiration is a real love of crime novels. But I wanted my book to be more than just a ‘who done it?’ I have explored the relationship between my two central characters.

“Detective Inspector James Halstead and Detective Sergeant Jill Trent are used to working together and share a sense of humour. I must admit that I really got to like them while writing the story.

“I hope they will forgive me for placing them in dangerous situations. I always become quite attached to my characters and for me they become real people.

“By doing this, I can explore how real people would react and make dialogue and actions both realistic and normal.

“A Kind of Retribution contains some humour, which I believe, provides an essential counterbalance to the serious stuff.

“I am aiming my book at people who instinctively like crime and mystery fiction but want to be entertained and care about what happens to the people they meet as the story unfolds. I consider myself to be a storyteller and I really want to entertain the reader as well as challenge their thinking. I am a great believer in ‘I didn’t see that coming’ moments.

“I don’t want to give too much away at this stage but there is certainly scope for sequels. It very much depends on the reaction to this book.

“My first book was titled. The Gatekeeper. It is a science fiction adventure story. It was published late in 2018 by Olympia Publishers. It chimes with what is happening to the natural world and features a fictional character based on David Attenborough. In fact, I sent him a copy of The Gatekeeper and he generously wrote a personal letter thanking me. The story is jaw-dropping and a real warning to mankind.”

Don lives in Chelmsford, Essex.