Six Idiots Witness a Murder: new book from Shoreham author

Brighton is a key location in Six Idiots Witness a Murder (self-published and available on Amazon as a paperback and an ebook), the new book from Rob Hickman.

Rob Hickman
Rob Hickman

Rob, aged 55, who was born in Brighton and grew up in Shoreham and later lived in Sompting, said: “The book was something I had planned to do late last year because I had a friend in Atlanta, Georgia who was releasing her own book.

“We were chatting about characters and laughing for hours over the phone so I knew I had some interesting characters. When I went over there, I had a good look round the city as both a tourist and a researcher and sketched out the main characters and their relationships to each other on the plane! When I returned I had a rough idea of a main story and a sub-story and I was planning to go back in March 2020 to flesh out the locations. Unfortunately, the pandemic prevented me from travelling and my work as an IT contractor dried up so I started writing the book in April 2020.

Sign up to our daily SussexWorld Today newsletter

“The story is of a team of IT geeks who get sent from the Brighton HQ of their company to the fledgling US office in Atlanta to resolve an embarrassing computer data breach. While there, they meet up with a cast of crazy characters and find themselves in the wrong place at the wrong time and witness a murder.

“My day job is an IT contractor, Brighton is my home city although Shoreham is my home town where I grew up and Atlanta was the place in the USA I enjoyed the most so it made sense to combine them all.

“This is a feel-good novel of transatlantic connections and new friendships with a murder mystery, plenty of banter between the characters and some comedy set pieces such as a phobia workshop, a character who buys a car for more than the seller wanted (based on a true story) and a woman who counts all of her cats as her girls even though one of them is a boy. Anyone who has ever sat through a boring office meeting, suffered from an annoying sibling or been the annoying sibling or had a best friend who may not have been the sharpest tool in the toolbox will find the book relatable. It also explores the locations and attractions of Brighton and Atlanta so people familiar with – or hoping to visit – those cities will find something extra to enjoy.

“I was inspired by Twitter where I am often found putting up jokes and one-liners based on comedy scenarios and also by the novel Three Men in a Boat.

“Many of my original comedic tweets over the last two years have been adapted and have found their way into the book and the style is similar to the Jerome K Jerome classic which was written as a road movie. My book moves at the same pace as a road movie, with the characters going from one crazy but believable situation to another, meeting numerous colourful characters on the way.

“I live alone away from family and friends and with no current work so the isolation of lockdown was something I felt quite keenly, as did many people. Writing this book was partly therapeutic because I wrote it in a style that puts the reader in the pub, restaurant or office with the characters.

“There is currently a sequel in the works.

“It is called Six Idiots Witness a Robbery. After that, there will be a third called Six Idiots Get Themselves Kidnapped.”