Crime and Corruption: Dearborn’s Next Case
During a period of my life when I worked as a television ‘walk-on’ between writing assignments, I’ve acted the part of a copper in such programmes as Z-Cars and The Bill, and even been arrested on camera by genuine police when playing a criminal for a reconstruction of a crime in Crimewatch. One of these jobs was strangely predictive. A film company was making a documentary for Channel 4 about Jack the Ripper, the killer of prostitutes in Whitechapel. His identity was never discovered. I was cast as Inspector John Littlechild, a real-life detective in the 1880s who in later life said he believed he knew who the Ripper was. Filming was inside the Hackney Empire, once a famous Music Hall venue, and I was sat at a table on the stage where so many famous feet had trod in years gone by, tapping out my ‘recollections’ on an ancient typewriter as the camera moved around me. Dressed as I was in the style of the times, with the fashionable drooping moustache, I ‘became’ for a while that Victorian detective, and my Inspector Dearborn was born.
So I can’t resist having him meet the Ripper in my next story, a prequel to The Mystery of the Stolen Brides. Solomon Dearborn had his own ideas, but were they listened to by the likes of Inspector Littlechild and his ilk? Having a highly original and searching mind like Dearborn’s at work on the case, with his wry humour and flashes of insight from painstaking and often brutal experience, may not have always sat well with his superiors. I’m very much looking forward to seeing what happens.
Read an extract from The Mystery of the Stolen Brides HERE
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Read EXTRACTS from Robin Squire’s books