Salt in the Wounds

Michael Brady was a detective.  A high-flying detective, working on a high-profile case. 

And much too close to the truth.  Someone arranged a hit-and-run. 

They missed Brady. And hit his wife. 

And after six months sitting by her bed, he took the only decision he could take. He turned the machine off.  Now he’s back home in Whitby. Trying to rebuild his life. And be a good dad to his teenage daughter. 

But when his best friend is murdered at the Goth Festival Brady – unwillingly at first – is drawn into the investigation. 

And when the only people he has left are threatened, he finds there’s only one answer. 

Going back to the life that cost him his wife…

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Pepper

Every family’s dog has a story to tell… 

Pepper was our Springer Spaniel.

We didn’t rescue her from years of neglect: we didn’t trek through the wilderness together. 

We went to the woods. And sometimes the beach. She liked to roll in a dead fish…

She loved her walks, she loved the five of us – and she loved stealing your ham sandwich if you were careless enough to leave it unguarded. 

She could have been your dog. She could have been any family’s dog. 

And this is her story…

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Father, Son and the Kerry Way

“This book is the best yet. Made me laugh out loud – and in some cases wake my wife up because I was laughing so hard.”

“I’ve never been to Ireland, let alone Kerry, but this book – with all its wonderful descriptions – had me hooked from the beginning. A brilliant and informative read.”

The book is written in exactly the same style as the first two ‘Pennine Way’ books. There’s the usual cast of characters and – sadly for one of us – there’s an Irish bog lying in ambush…

I loved Ireland. I loved the people and the scenery. But there were different layers to Ireland as well – the sense of history, and the feeling that you could almost touch the myths, legends and folklore. I hope I’ve captured all that in the book.

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Father, Son and the Pennine Way

Five days on the Pennine Way with my youngest son.

The challenges we faced, the experiences we shared and what we learned about each other.

And the sorry tale of how I became the first person to walk a mile of the Pennine Way in my underpants…

“Brilliantly written, brutally honest and laugh-out-loud funny.”

“A great read. I’d recommend it to anyone with even the remotest sense of humour.”

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Father, Son and Return to the Pennine Way

In 2018 Alex and I were back on the Pennine Way. This time he told some of the story…

Sometimes I go with Dad when he takes Pepper out for a walk. She stops to check out a pizza box or a discarded barbecue. She has a wee. She finds something to roll in. While she’s doing that you can shout for her to keep up. But it’s a waste of time. She’s a Spaniel. She’s doing exactly what Spaniels do.

By Thursday I’d realised that was exactly the way to treat Dad. Just pretend he was a Springer Spaniel and don’t get stressed. He’d stop for a wee, try and kill a few horseflies and want to go in the wrong direction. But as long as I kept walking he’d catch me up…

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Best Dad: The Swimming Pool Years

The Swimming Pool Years is the first full-length book in the ‘Best Dad’ series, covering 2003 to 2006, my first years of writing the column. When I started writing the children were 9, 7 and 4 – so as you’d expect, this is the book that covers the years of party bags, nativity plays and the sheer hell that’s a family changing room at the swimming pool…

Plus the question all parents have to answer at some point: ‘How will Speedy, the dead goldfish, get to Heaven if Daddy flushes him down the toilet?’

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Best Dad: The Beginning

In the spring of 2003 I started writing a newspaper column – a humorous look at family life from a Dad’s point of view.

Seventeen years on I’m still writing the column. We’ve gone from party bags and nativity plays and the sheer hell that’s a family changing room at the swimming pool to teenage angst, boyfriends it’s best Dad doesn’t know about and – ultimately – leaving home.

You can read some of the latest weekly columns – now inevitably concentrating rather more on our ‘empty nest’ – on the blog page.

I’m gradually bringing together all the columns in a series of books, and the first two are now available on the Kindle.

Best Dad, the Beginning is the introduction to the series. It’s a collection of 27 of my favourite columns from the first ten years, and you can buy it here for 99p

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Walking Shorts

Walking Shorts is a collection of 25 short stories, including Pepper and I interrupting an amorous couple in the throes of passion – and the story of how I accidentally wandered into one of the UK’s top secret sites…

They’re loosely connected with walking, but the stories are also about the vexed questions of family life and being a parent.

‘Walking Shorts’ is a book you can pick up when you want five minutes’ amusement in the middle of a busy day – or a couple of light-hearted stories before you fall asleep.

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