john harvey murray

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The Russians, Our Allies

When were the Russians our Allies? The Russians were our allies in both World Wars. There is an account of an incident involving some of them in the diary of my father-in-law, Bert Mathers, covering his time as a prisoner of war. I published the whole diary recently,...

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The Battle of Monte Cassino

The Battle of Monte Cassino - what do I know? At the battle of Monte Cassino in 1944 my father-in-law, Bert Mathers, was wounded and captured. It led to his spending a year as a prisoner of the Nazis. I have published his account of that time in Came the Dawn, the...

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How relevant are War stories today?

World War II has been in the news again War hero Captain Tom, one of the last of the many who fought in the Second World War, was laid to rest yesterday, and the other day Lucy Worsley explored the Blitz Spirit, showing how civilians experienced warfare in a new way. ...

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Locked in long enough? How about this?

Locked down may be getting you down Most of us have had enough of being locked away from places we want to go, things we want to do and above all people we want to be with. For some, the worst of it is not knowing when it will end or what will come next. I hope you...

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Pembrokeshire murders, fact or fiction?

What Pembrokeshire Murders? The Pembrokeshire Murders is the title and subject of an ITV series that I've been watching this week. It's fascinating and, although a drama, is closely based on fact. Some of it is stranger than fiction. They have also shown one of...

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Why have GM Police failed the public?

Who says GM Police have failed the public? GM Police have made news because HM Inspector of Police has issued a report listing many failings. The police in Greater Manchester have failed to record a lot of crimes and have failed to investigate others. They have failed...

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How real are your villains?

Villains are essential in crime novels. Villains present a problem to crime writers, because we want to give them credibility. Readers need to relate to all the main characters in a novel, at least to some extent. We writers draw on our own character and personality,...

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Down and depressed? I know how you feel!

I am feeling down and depressed I am seldom depressed. For almost all this year I have been feeling happy enough through all the minor ups and downs, partly because I have continued to count my blessings as I said at the start of Lockdown. I have written about various...

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Is nostalgia the latest thing?

Nostalgia is still with us Nostalgia is part of the appeal of a lot of books. I don't mean historical novels as much as those about the recent past. People like books that remind them of their youth or of happier times. Perhaps times before the internet and mobile...

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Cold cases are hot in crime fiction

Cold cases are often in the news Cold cases such as the White House Farm Murder get a lot of publicity when someone manages to open them up again. Sometimes something reminds us they are still live, like the Maddie McCann case. I'm glad the police so often don't give...

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Honour killing: does it exist?

Honour Killing : a drama Honour killings were the subject of an ITV mini series this week. It was a dramatisation of the real-life case of the murder of a Kurdish Teenager, Banaz Mahmod, by members of her family. Her offense was that she left her husband and then...

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Are you getting more stress than ever?

Stress affected many people in Lockdown Some of us hoped there would be less stress once it was eased and we could go out again and do more things. Alas! That is not how it has been. Now we seem to be going backwards and the rules seem to be changing all the time....

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