DI BLAKES CITY AND THE HAUNTINGLY BEAUTIFUL STAFFORDSHIRE MOORLANDS
The setting of my books
With this interactive map, you will be able to explore J.F.Burgesses Stoke-on-Trent and visit some of the locations found in Jon's writing and walk in the steps of DI Tom Blake as he investigates crimes on the streets of his home city.
When I read crime, I find it fascinating how authors describe their hometowns and cities. It allows readers to build up a mental picture of a real place, making the whole reading experience more emotive because they can engage instantly with the characters.
Where we grow up leaves lasting memories that have a profound effect on us. With this in mind, there’s a deep sense of place in my book. Stoke-on-Trent is what I call one of the many forgotten towns of the UK.
Dozens of factory closures during the recession created large unemployment and crime surged. Neglected for years by local and national governments there are lots of decaying buildings and iconic bottle kilns from the turn of the century, scattered about the five towns
I find dereliction intriguing; it inspires me to research how people interact with their environment over time. The pottery industry in Stoke-on-Trent, with its dark smoky past, has helped me to create, believable characters people can relate to.
In contrast to my gritty hometown setting, some exotic locations also feature in the characters' journeys. Love interest – Katrina Osbourne leaves Stoke and continues her red-hot affair with her illicit lover, ruthless gang boss -Ibrahim Benzar, at a high-end villa in Ibiza.
In a cruel twist of fate, DI Tom Blake’s daughter is kidnapped and the trail propels the bereft detective on a personal quest to Miami to save her life. Operating outside the law, he enters into an illicit showdown with a mysterious artefacts Collector, almost costing him his life. Whilst another key player drug dealer, Yusuf Benzar finds himself in Mumbai India.
Personally, I feel The Killer Shadow Thieves is a little different from the usual type of cosy police procedural firmly set in one location. It has an international thriller flavour.
Speedboats, casinos, drug dealers, raunchy sex and the daring heist of the famous Staffordshire Hoard are all intertwined with murder and kidnap in a post-industrial Midlands town harbouring secrets.
All these elements make it an engrossing read that transports the reader deeply into the character’s world.
The Roaches, whose name probably derives from the French word Roche meaning rock, is an area of outstanding beauty and a paradise for photographers, not only for panoramic or landscape snaps but also for texture and atmospheric shots.
Together with Hen Cloud, and Ramshaw Rocks, the Roaches are tiered gritstone escarpments and huge bastions of solid rock in the Staffordshire Moorland area of the Peak District National Park, which can be found to the north, of Stoke-on-Trent.