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, preceded by “Murder Can Kill” in 2018 and “Murder Never Sleeps” last year.
The new book begins with West compiling a profile of a man for his only son, who had no memory of him. However, it does not take long before the private investigator is thrust into one of his most complex cases in his career.
“It takes him to Ebony River on Vancouver Island’s east coast that seldom gave a wink or nod to the outside world,” Hall said. “What he found was the two-year unsolved murder of Jason Knox and his companion that still baffled the RCMP.”
The 92-year-old author adds West’s investigation takes him to an eclectic range of residents, including bikers with an agenda, a former member of town council with a grudge to settle, a small church time had left behind and a mayor desperately trying to get re-elected.
“This is certainly a page-turner” Hall said. “Throughout my writing career, I’ve written some good books and some mediocre ones too, but I think this is one of the best novels I’ve written in the “Paul West Series – and as a whole to date.
He says he has visited Vancouver a number of times and drew on these memories when writing this book.
“A lot of characters in it are composites of people I have 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. West, to me, is the quintessential police officer, “he said. “It’s too good not to keep going
He grew up in Haley Station and attended Renfrew Collegiate Institute (RCI) until the age of 16, when he completed his education at the University of Toronto. He spent seven-and-a-half years doing extensive media relations as Senior Press Office for IBM Canada Inc, and 32 years and a Canadian radio and television personality before retiring on 1999.
Hall says the whole process of writing a novel takes about a year.
“Blocking and plotting out the story takes me about three months, with another six dedicated to writing,” he said. “My wife, Joyce, will then go over it since she has a keen eye for syntax, continuity and grammar and she’ll go and make notes. Editing and revisions will take around three months before I submit it to my publisher.
Hall adds whenever writing his novels he does 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 whether or not that is actual procedure,” he said. “He’ll tell me what the police do to add some realism to the story.”
Hall says he has three more plots mapped out for the Paul West series.
“I know exactly where I’m going to take him,” he said. In Canada “Murder Unchained is available on Amazon, Indigo, Google and numerous bookstores.
Johnathan Mulville is a reporter with the Renfrew Mercury and Inside Ottawa Valley .com.

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