R O B I N   R I C H A R D S

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The breakthrough, for me, came when I was fourteen years old. I was but a callow youth, with acne and a pair of huge glasses, like the bottoms of a pair of rinsed out jam jars, perched on my nose end. And I was bored, bored as only a teenager can be bored. One day, when I was ranging around the house not knowing what to do with myself, my poor exasperated mother said to me, ‘For heaven’s sake our Robin, do something constructive, anything, why don’t you sit down and read a book?’


Read a book? Reading a book was the last thing on earth I wanted to do. Reading books was for swats and sissys, not proper lads. I wanted to be out doing the things proper lads did, adventurous things; swimming, playing football, climbing mountains, not reading books.

Undeterred she thrust into my hand a rather dog-eared copy of Alistair MacLean’s Puppet on a Chain.  ‘Here,’ she said, ‘read that, you’ll like it, it’s all about spies and things.’


I was quite sure I wouldn’t like it but, in all truth, I had nothing better to do, so I opened it up and began to read …


I never knew books could be like that! … That a book could grab you from page one, line one. That it could pull you into the narrative and keep you there through a breathless, roller-coaster ride of snappy dialogue, action-adventure and excitement right up to the nail-biting climax. We never read anything at school which came anywhere close. That was it – I was hooked. Thank you mother, and thank you Mr MacLean. From that moment I became a reader, an avid reader. I didn’t just read books, I devoured them, books of every kind and crime thrillers were, and still are, my favourites.


Somewhere, in the years that followed, the notion began to grow in my mind that maybe I shouldn’t just be reading books but perhaps I could even try my hand at actually writing them. But just where does a teenager, more than a little damp behind the ears, start? I wasn’t like Alistair MacLean, I hadn’t lived the eventful life he had and what was more, when I’d finished school, I was expected to go out and get a job, a proper job.


As there were not many openings in South Yorkshire at that time for budding crime writers I embarked on convoluted career path which, with the benefit of hindsight, could have been designed to slowly and progressively build that foundation of life and experience on which a crime writer needs to draw.


I’ve been an apprentice gardener (would you believe I’m qualified in manure?), a youth hostel warden in a remote corner of the English Lake District, a failed ball-bearing salesman, a student and, for most of my working life, a psychiatric nurse and nurse lecturer.  In 2008 the nursing profession decided I was surplus to requirements so following redundancy / early retirement I decided to see how far I could go as a fulltime writer


In one of those strange quirks which happen in life my first book didn’t turn out to be a crime thriller. I decided the transition from fulltime work to fulltime writer might just be a bit of shock to the system (from frayed nerves to frayed cuffs) so I packed a rucksack and set out to walk from Land’s End to John O’Groats, in relatively easy stages and, as I professed to be a writer, to write about the whole experience.  My first book  LE-JOG-ed, (LE-JOG being an abbreviation of Land’s End to John O’Groats), was the result. Having got that out of my system, and with a published book under my belt, I am now firmly established in the crime writing groove, The Piltdown Picasso is my first crime novel with a second one, working title: Nasty, Brutal and Short, to hopefully follow soon.


In addition to writing I’ve done a fair amount of study over the years and built up a smorgasbord of psychiatric nursing qualifications along with an Open University degree in Humanities with Creative Writing. And when I’m not at my desk I like to travel, (have you ever known a writer who didn’t profess a love of travel?), or you’ll find me with my hiking boots on, tramping the hills of Derbyshire.



Robin Richards 2015

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Website by Aimee Bell on behalf of Matador


A rip roaring tale of art and crime, this is the perfect book for all crime fiction fans.


matador amazon

'Thorougly gripping, fast paced. I couldn't put it down...'

A rip roaring tale of art and crime, this is the perfect book for all crime fiction fans.

'Thorougly gripping, fast paced. I couldn't put it down...'

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