A new South Tyneside crime writer is set to make a name for himself through a serial killer thriller eight years in the making.
Adam Peacock, 31, hopes to take his place among his writing favourites Stephen King and Henning Mankell with his debut novel Open Grave.
Set in and around the North East, its 288 pages tell of fictional Northumbria Police DCI Jack Lambert’s pursuit of a murderer with a distinctive killing style.
Over the course of a winter, Lambert’s team investigate a series of deaths which have a unique modus operandi.
The search begins when two bodies are discovered in an open grave, and quickens when a local hoodlum is found dead by the banks of the Tyne.
Central character Lambert is a homosexual with a criminal past, adding extra twists to a storyline which Adam hopes may eventually be adapted for TV or film.
Adam, of Coleridge Avenue, South Shields, is already 30,000 words into his next book, which he plans as the second instalment in a series featuring Lambert.
He said: “The idea came from an image I had in my head of a murder and a body being in an open grave. I don’t plan my plots out as many authors do, I don’t know the ending until I get there, I just run with it.
“We all read such normal lives but the great thing about fiction is that you can explore all kinds of things.
“A TV adaption is the dream and that would be great, but I just hope that people like the book.”
Open Grave is available on Kindle and can be ordered through Amazon and Waterstones.
Adam, a former teacher who is now a case worker with the University and College Union, began writing 10 years ago and uses the pseudonym A.M. Peacock.
Within 18 months, two of his fictional short stories had been published in Writers Forum’ magazine.
But the demands of his job meant he had to put his budding writing career on hold and consign and early draft of Open Grave to his desk draw.
He only returned to the typewriter two years ago when he switched jobs.
His search for a publisher led him to Cambridge-based Bloodhound Books, which signed him on a one-book deal.
Adam also leads the South Shields Fiction Writers group, which meets at The Word library, South Shields, from 1pm to 3pm on the first and third Sundays of each month.