Author John Reid and his wife initially came to the Algarve in 2010 and had a holiday home here and later decided to buy a place and stay here permanently post Brexit. They have been residents in Lagoa since 2020 as it “ticked all the boxes, with the weather, golf and great people.”
John’s latest novel “The Watchers” is available to order now and the captivating synopsis reads:“Sometimes it isn’t just good police work that catches criminals. Sometimes you just have to watch them. This is the strategy DCI Steve Burt uses when presented with two different and equally complicated cases simultaneously. One is an unofficial favour to an ex-colleague involving the theft of gold bullion from the Bank of England. The other is a baffling case of multiple murders masterminded by greed. Steve follows a trail of misleading clues and blind alleys involving suspected terrorism, kidnapping, conspiracy and international intrigue. To solve the cases, he puts his career and his future with the Metropolitan Police in jeopardy by deliberately disobeying direct orders.”
John told me that it has a multi-layered plot with false trails at every corner, promising to be a page turner which is affirmed by this great review “I have read all of John Reid’s' books as advance copies, and they get better and better. Good characters and good plotting, and a “complex enough” story makes The Watchers very readable. I finished it in 5 sittings, which is rare for me. This is good police procedural fiction…”.
Getting into writing
John, who is actually an avid historical fiction reader, told me he has always wanted to write but work got in the way, but once he retired, he started writing his first novel “The Forgotten Gun” which was published in August 2021 by Austin Macauley Publishers. He added that “it was an idea he had about 30 years ago but retiring and the lockdowns have allowed him to put the pen to paper.” John did not stop there and continued writing, remarkably revealing that he is already writing the 10th book in the series. He then wrote his second novel “The Auction”, which actually came out earlier than the first book, in June 2021, but this time with Pegasus Elliot Mackenzie Publishers. John also explained that he will be giving a percentage of royalties of all sales from the entire DCI Steve Burt series to SENSE, a charity which supports people living with complex disabilities.
John told me he “usually writes when he is not playing golf, usually for about two hours a day” but admitted if he is heavily absorbed in what he is doing he can write up to four hours at a time. His story evolves as he is writing it and it is never pre-planned, although he did say that what he does make up is mostly plausible.
We then dove deeper into the character of DCI Steve Burt and how he was born. “The story is fictional as is DCI Steve Burt so John does not do any research as he wants readers to lose themselves in the story due to its simplicity”, despite my interest of whether he is based off someone he knows or even himself, John assured me that “the only similarity they share is that have both been in the army, revealing that only the first book in the series draws upon his own experiences in the army”, which he believes “is not an uncommon route into the police force.” He told me his “mmain goal was to build a realistic character that does not have too many unrealistic flaws and has a stable home life. DCI Steve Burt is a normal police man who is simply doing his job but he is an independent thinker so he is not afraid to break the rules to solve the cases.”
Keeping it clean
Another main goal of the author was for there never to be any swear words in the series, which he admits “is probably unrealistic for the police force”, however, he wanted everyone to be able to read the series, from 16-year-olds to adults. Interestingly, John has purposefully written each novel as stand alone so you do not need to read the books prior in the series to enjoy and understand each novel. However, many reviews warn that if you read one of the novels in the series, you will be undoubtedly hooked to the whole series.
John has won over many fans worldwide and raves positive reviews for his captivating novels, with some saying that “The Disciples” is “a gripping crime novel with a well-constructed plot. Unexpected twists and turns pave the way” and an “explosive storyline that does not disappoint”. All the old favourites from book 1 and 2 make their mark too, making this a brilliant read. I asked John, what makes the series such a captivating read and he told me that the fact that “you follow other characters who re-appear as the series unfolds is key and he brings inventive plots which keep readers on the edge of their seats.” He also told me “That if he feels like the story is becoming too padded, he will bring in an incident to pick up the pace again and similarly, something is always happening alongside something else, so nothing is isolated which he believes is the key to successful crime fiction.”
John plans to continue the series and would like to just keep developing his character and the storyline itself. John also told me that he is “interested in doing book signings here in the Algarve and will hopefully have more literary events and a book tour to follow” which I am sure will delight fans. I also asked John, if he would be interested in turning his series into a TV show as I had seen many fans keen on the idea and he expressed that “he would be interested as he believes the stories could lend themselves well to it and he will wait to see if that is something that happens in the future.”
If you would like to grab a copy of “The Watchers” or any of the other captivating books in the series, please see www.steve-burt.com for more information. Similarly, you can get a copy off Amazon Spain and Germany, where they also have a Kindle version made available. John would also really appreciate if readers could leave a review on Goodreads or Amazon on any of his books as every review helps.
Following undertaking her university degree in English with American Literature in the UK, Cristina da Costa Brookes moved back to Portugal to pursue a career in Journalism, where she has worked at The Portugal News for 3 years. Cristina’s passion lies with Arts & Culture as well as sharing all important community-related news.