Alnmouth features in debut crime thriller from Northumberland TV scriptwriter

Northumberland has played a central role in Lesbury author Marrisse Whittaker winning a multi-book deal with international publisher.

By Ian Smith
Friday, 14th May 2021, 11:34 am

Last year Marrisse’s novel The Magpie, inspired from a song of the same name by North East group, The Unthanks, was shortlisted for The Lindisfarne Prize for Outstanding Debut Crime Fiction.

The Magpie is the first of a series of three crime thrillers to be published by Bloodhound Books this year and will feature locations including Alnmouth and The Angel of the North.

Although Marrisse has worked in TV and film production for many years and has written scripts for TV drama’s including Channel 4’s Hollyoaks, this is her first novel.

The Magpie by Marrisse Whittaker.

Marrisse was persuaded to enter the competition after picking up a leaflet in Alnwick library publicising the prize which was sponsored by best-selling Northumberland writer LJ Ross.

“Writing scripts for TV is a hugely different experience to writing novels, but I’m really lucky to have had the opportunity during lockdown to get involved in a new project and thrilled to have been signed by Bloodhound Books,” said Marrisse.

As well as being a tale of gruesome murders, The Magpie focuses on how early experiences in childhood have an impact on adult behaviour.

The book's blurb says: ‘DSI Billie Wilde is on a mission to solve a series of horrific murders proving that she’s still at the top of her game. But when hidden skeletons come hurtling from dark corners, she is forced to confront her past and face the truth - that she is the ultimate target, now firmly in the executioner’s sights.’

Marrisse Whittaker.

The next two books are due out later this year. The next book, currently called The Devil's Line, features a suspect journalist.

Marrisse said: “I’m hoping that eventually the books will be adapted for TV and I have used my script writing experience to shape the series of books,” she said. “There can never be too many ways of telling great stories about our fabulous and unique area.”

The Magpie is published on Monday, May 17. It is available via Amazon, in both e-book and paperback versions and from major booksellers.

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Alnmouth features in the book.

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