Haley Station Native releases new mystery novel Murder Unchained the third book in the Paul West Mystery Series by Johathan Mulvihill Renfrew Mercury.

Whitby author Douglas Hall says his latest novel is the best one he has written in his career so far.

“Murder Unchained” released on March 30, 2021, is the third book in the Paul West mystery series, preceeded by “Murder Can Kill in 2018 and Murder New Sleeps” last year 2020.

The new book begins with West compiling a profile of a man for his only son,who has no memory of him. However, it does not take too long before the private investigator is thrust into one of his most complex cases in his career.

“It takes him to Ebony River, a small town on Vancouver’s east coast that seldom gave a wink or nod to the outside world,” Hall said. What he found was the two-year-old unsolved murder of Jason Knox and his companion that still baffled the RCMP.

The 91-year-old author adds, “West’s investigatiopn takes him to an eclectic range of residents, including bikers with an agenda, a former member of the town council with a grudge to settle, a small church time had left behind and a mayor despertly trying to get re-elected.

This one is certanily a page-turner,” Hall said,”Throughout my writing career, I’ve written some good books and some mediocre ones too, but I think this one is the best novel I’ve written for the Paul West series – and as a whole, to date.

Hall says he has visited Vancouver a number of times and drew on those memories when writing this book.

“A lot of the characters in it are composites of peope I’ve met throughout my life,” Hall said, “I also placed a few red herrings into the book, but I always bring it back to the centre of the story.”

He adds when he first wrote Paul West for “Murder Can Kill,” he knew he had to continue writing the character, “Paul West, to me,is the quintessential police officer,” he said, He is too good a character not to keep going.”

Hall grew up in Haley Station, in the Ottawa Valley, and attended Renfrew Collegiate (RCI) until the age of 16, when he completed his education at the University of Toronto. He spent seven-and-a-half years as Senior Press Officer” for IBM Canada Inc.and 32 years as a Candain radio and television personality before retiring in 1999.

Hall says the whole process of writing a novel takes him about a year.

“Blocking and plotting out the story takes me about three months, with another six dedicated to writing.

My wife Joyce, will then go over it. She has a keen eye for syntax, tense,
continuity and grammar.She’ll make notes as well. Editing and revisions will take around three months before I submit the manuscript to my publisher.

Hall adds, “whevever writing my novels I do a great amount of research to make sure everything is accurate,

Anything cop-related I’ll run by my son-in-law who is a retired police sergeant, and he’ll say wether or not that is an actual procedure. He’ll tell me what the police do and I add to the story.”

Hall says he has three more plots mapped out for the Paul West series.

“I know just where I am going to take him,” he said.

In Canada, “Murder Unchained” is available on Amazon, Indigo, Google, Sleuth of Baker Street and numerous book stores.

by Jonathan Mulvihill
Jonathan Mulvihill is a reporter with the Renfrey Mercury and Inside Ottawa Valley.com

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