Gripping mysteries that twist and turn!

It’s been a slow start to business for private detectives and former police officers Dave Slater and Norman Norman, so when the case of a young woman’s disappearance arrives on their desk, they’re hopeful it could be just the break they need. 

But it soon becomes clear that the man who reported her missing has his own secrets and motivations to hide – and with mysterious photographs, false IDs, and an unidentified body in the mortuary, a simple missing persons case becomes a tangled web involving local businessmen, undercover journalists, and conspiracies. 

Will Slater and Norman be able to solve the mystery – and manage to stay safe – after finding themselves on the dark and seedy side of Tinton?

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One of the best, down to earth, series that I have had the pleasure to read.


The young woman was in her late twenties. An attractive girl, she had one of those faces that broke into a smile at the slightest excuse, only now her face was twisted with fear as she ran for her life, her long blonde hair flying out behind her. The usually gleaming-white trainers she was so proud of were now thick with black mud, which was splashed up the legs of her red tracksuit bottoms. Her red T-shirt was torn in several places where she had rushed headlong through the undergrowth in panic.

Now she broke cover in the darkness and found herself on what she thought was a road but was in fact just a lay-by only used by the occasional trucker looking for a quiet stop. She could see a large truck over to her right. Its red tail lights glowed in the dark, and the engine seemed to be running. She reasoned there must be a driver inside, and if she could only attract his attention maybe he could save her.

Convinced she was doing the right thing, she changed direction and headed towards the truck. Not far to go now and she would be safe. Despite the confusion brought on by her panic, she noticed the truck seemed to be getting nearer much too quickly, but it was only in the final second or two she realised why.

But by then it was too late. The truck was reversing so quickly she had no chance …


‘So I just need double top for the game, right?’ asked Slater.

‘Only because you cheated,’ protested Norman.

‘How could I have cheated? It’s just simple subtraction.’ Slater pointed to the blackboard they had nailed to the wall next to their dartboard. ‘You can see for yourself.’

Now Norman pointed to the suspiciously smudged numbers chalked on the board. ‘Anyone can see you changed those figures when I was in the loo.’

‘I don’t need to cheat to beat you at darts, Norm. You’re rubbish, and you know you are!’

‘I’ll have you know I used to play for my station when I was in the Met.’

‘And how many games did you win?’

‘I dunno, I didn’t keep count. Anyhow, it’s not all about winning, it’s the taking part.’

‘That’s just as well,’ muttered Slater.

‘I heard that! What are you suggesting?’

‘Let’s be honest, Norm. If we enter a contest as a doubles team, we aren’t even going to get through the first round – unless we’re up against a short-sighted pair and we steal their glasses.’

‘You really think so? Only you’re pretty good. I was sort of hoping you could make up for me being not so good.’

‘I don’t want to put you down, Norm, but even a “not so good player” ought to be able to hit the board with every dart. You waste at least one dart every throw. You need to accept it’s just not your thing. That’s how it is sometimes.’

Norman heaved a sigh. ‘I suppose you have a point. Okay, I admit I’m crap at darts, so how about we make this last game more interesting?’

‘More interesting?’

‘We know you’re going to win, right?’

‘Right, so?’

Norman produced a ten-pound note from his pocket and held it up for Slater to see. ‘Ten quid says you can’t get that double top with your first dart.’

‘Really?’ said Slater. ‘You know I never miss those.’ He held his hand out. ‘You might as well give me the money now.’

‘Arrogance,’ said Norman, placing his money on the table. ‘I like that. You do know it’s a weakness, don’t you?’

‘There’s a whole world of difference between arrogance and confidence,’ said Slater. ‘I’m confident we both know I’m going to win this bet and collect the cash, but just to make you happy, I’ll match your ten.’

He took his wallet from his back pocket and removed a ten-pound note, which he slapped down on the table alongside Norman’s. ‘There you go.’

Slater watched as Norman adjusted the notes so Slater’s was on top of his own.

‘It’ll make it easier for me to collect,’ Norman explained.

Slater laughed. ‘Yeah, right,’ he said as he took careful aim at the board. Slowly, he pulled his arm back, ready to throw. ‘The only way you’re going to win this is if you cheat.’

‘Yo!’ called a voice from the next room. ‘Anyone home?’

The timing of the shout couldn’t have been better and was just enough to take Slater’s eye away from the prize as he threw the dart. There was a familiar “thwock” as the dart plunged into the board.

‘I’ll be there in just a second,’ called Norman. He stepped forward to look at the dartboard, his face breaking into a broad grin. ‘Oh dear, what a shame. I think you’ll find that’s a treble, not a double. That means I win the bet.’

‘I was distracted,’ said Slater. ‘You’ve got to let me have another go.’

‘Why would I do that?’

‘That voice. It put me off.’

‘Yeah, it’s a shame about that,’ agreed Norman, ‘but, as you told me not two minutes ago, that’s how it is sometimes. So, you lose, and I collect the cash.’

‘Wait a minute,’ protested Slater. ‘You can’t do that.’

‘Sure, I can,’ said Norman, stuffing the two ten-pound notes into his pocket. ‘See? It was easy.’

‘Yeah, but—’

Norman grinned at him. ‘I told you arrogance was a weakness. Anyhow, I don’t have time to argue – we may have a new client out there in reception, and it would be rude to ignore them. Are you coming?’

Slater snorted in good-humoured disgust and then followed Norman from the room. That was one up to Norm, but it wasn’t even lunchtime yet. There was plenty of time to get even.

Books in the Slater & Norman series

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