Varied life of thriller writer Denis

Coffin bearer, gravedigger, reflexologist, air traffic controller, political adviser, police detention officer... and now in retirement Denis Brookes of Market Drayton is tapping into his life experiences as he takes a new direction as a thriller writer.

The second in his trilogy, called First Dig Two Graves, is set in and around Shrewsbury, Iran, and London, and although a standalone novel, he says it follows on from the first book, with many of the same characters.

It revolves around an agent of the Iranian secret service who blames a naive gravedigger called Justin Parkes for thwarting his terror plot, and vows to take a terrible revenge.

Meanwhile the first book in the series, called A Very Deadly Sin, has been rewritten and re-edited to produce a revamped second edition.

Both thrillers are available on Amazon as e-books or paperbacks.

Shrewsbury-born Denis' life story is nothing if not varied. As a young man he served in the army as a vehicle mechanic, and later signed up as a Sergeant in the Rhodesian Army.

"Later I worked as a driver/bearer for a firm of undertakers – and yes, I did manage to drop a corpse in the street. This was followed by a two year spell as a self-employed gravedigger."

After a brief and unhappy time working for HM Customs and Excise he had an enjoyable six years as an assistant air traffic controller at RAF Shawbury, followed by a year as manager of the e-learning centre at Tern Hill barracks.

In a complete change of direction he trained as a reflexologist and practised for many years in Market Drayton.

Denis says: "But my humdrum life was not yet over. Needing a change and with my versatility knowing no bounds, for several years I worked as a volunteer for a political party, and eventually was employed as a political adviser for an MEP. Finally, for two years before my well-deserved retirement, I served as a detention officer with West Mercia Police at their custody suite in Shrewsbury.

"After retirement I started to write a thriller trilogy. Unsurprisingly, I’ve woven my life and work experiences into the first completed book."

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