Published: 06:00, 20 January 2021
| Updated: 12:29, 20 January 2021
A Medway author who published his debut novel in the first lockdown, has released his second - both set in The Towns - in the latest lockdown.
Matthew Ross, who went to the Howard School in Rainham and left at 16 to work in construction, despite harbouring ambitions to write, published Death Of A Painter in April last year.
The darkly comic crime fiction was the first in a series featuring beleaguered builder Mark Poynter, set in the Medway Towns.
At the time he said: "All my life I wanted to write and now it's here, on my table, it's quite weird."
Now the follow-up, The Red Admiral's Secret, again in the Medway Towns will be published on Wednesday, February 3.
It also centres around builder, Mark Poynter, who has built up a sizeable property portfolio built up from the career earnings of former Premier League bad-boy and local celebrity, Danny Kidd.
But when Danny puts an interested party’s nose out of joint by using his star status to gazump them on a development site – the derelict Admiral Guthrie pub - things turn ugly and incendiary, leaving Mark to deal with the consequences.
At the Admiral Guthrie secrets from the past meet conflicts of the present - will the rising flames reduce Mark’s future to ashes?
Since completing the book, he has gone on to write a third novel, a spin-off from the Poynter series, following the gangster character Hamlet, which is set mostly on the Isle of Sheppey.
He has also started work on his fourth but admits: "I found lockdown, remote working and homeschooling completely ruined my routine and I found it difficult to concentrate on so I parked it for a brief hiatus.
"In the meantime, as a bit of a palate cleanser and in the hope that a blank slate and establishing a brand new routine would help me recapture my mojo I started something new. It's a cosy crime caper, and I'm really excited by it."
Born and raised in Medway, Matthew still lives in Kent with his Kiwi wife, children and a very old cat.
He was able to realise his lifelong dream of writing in 2017 after graduating from the Faber Academy in London.
The Red Admiral's Secret, will be published by Red Dog Press on Wednesday, February 3.