Northumberland author hopes new crime novel will raise awareness of County Lines issue

Lesbury author Marrisse Whittaker has published a follow-up to her acclaimed debut novel.

Tuesday, 7th December 2021, 12:46 pm
Marrisse Whittaker's new novel, The Devil's Line, is out now.
Marrisse Whittaker's new novel, The Devil's Line, is out now.

The Devil’s Line, book two in her Detective Billie Wilde series, kicks off with the shocking death of a teenager at Newcastle Central train station.

Like The Magpie, Marrisse’s debut novel, which was published in May, a serial killer is at large, and it becomes a race against time for Billie Willie to find the murderer before more

innocent lives are lost.

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Though the plotline is fiction, the theme of this book focuses on a very real danger affecting families in the North East, as well as further afield – County Lines drug gangs, which target children and vulnerable adults, in order to transfer drugs from large cities to small towns and rural areas.

“The terrifying thing is that most parents are totally unaware of the way County Lines drug running works and what to keep an eye out for, in order to protect their own children,” said Marrisse. “A child can be contacted, coerced and tracked by social media right under their parents’ noses, without them having a clue what’s going on.

"If anyone reads my novel just to pass the time, but also becomes even a tiny bit wiser about this issue, then I will consider it a job well done.”

Marrisse worked in TV and film production for many years and has written scripts for TV drama’s including Channel 4’s Hollyoaks.

Her debut novel was shortlisted for The Lindisfarne Prize for Outstanding Debut Crime Fiction.

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