About the book:
Two cops, both on different sides of the law – both with the same gangland boss in their sights.
Sam Batford is a corrupt undercover officer with the Metropolitan Police who will stop at nothing to get his hands on fearsome crime-lord Vincenzo Guardino’s drug supply.
DCI Klara Winter runs a team on the National Crime Agency, she’s also chasing down Guardino, but unlike Sam Batford she’s determined to bring the gangster to justice and get his drugs off the streets.
Set in a time of austerity and police cuts where opportunities for corruption are rife, Rubicon is a tense, dark thriller that is definitely not for the faint hearted.
Published by Fahrenheit Press, you can get your copy here.
About the author:
Educated in Nottingham, Ian left school at sixteen. After three years in the Civil Service he moved to London for a career in the Metropolitan Police.
He spent twenty-seven years as a police officer, the majority as a detective within the Specialist Operations Command. A career in policing is a career in writing. Ian has been used to carrying a book and pen and making notes.
Now retired, the need to write didn’t leave and evolved into fiction.
Can you tell us a little about yourself?
I spent many of my, younger, years travelling as my father was in the forces. My secondary education was in Nottingham where I scraped through the education system and left school at sixteen. After a short spell in the Civil Service I moved to London, aged nineteen, for a career in the Metropolitan Police. I spent twenty-seven years as a police officer, the majority as a detective within the Specialist Operations Command. I had a varied career mainly investigating sexual offences within Operation Sapphire, child protection and, pro-active, paedophile investigations. I retired as a detective sergeant. I now live in rural Scotland with my family enjoying life by the beach!
How did you get into writing? Is it something you’ve always wanted to do?
I’ve written for fun for over twenty years. A life in policing is a life of writing! I had never considered turning my hand to novel writing until a few years ago. Rubicon is my second book, I have another one down, but unsure whether it will see the light of day.
Where do you get your inspiration from?
Life. I have seen so many sides to the human psyche that it became impossible for stories to cease arising in my head.
How would you describe your writing to anyone who hasn’t read your book?
Raw. I seem to have found a voice that I enjoy writing in and wish to develop this as far as I can. I don’t dwell on unnecessary description. I know readers want concise language not words for words sake. As a reader it’s something I notice, so figured my writing would reflect that. I also like a book to keep me gripped. It’s my hope my writing will achieve this goal, but I will have to await the response from those reading it!
Do you think social media helps in regard to promotion and drumming up publicity for a new book?
I have a love hate with social media. I have returned to Twitter after deleting an old account that just seemed to draw me in too much and detracted me from writing. This is a personal thing though. I tend to operate in extremes and need to find a middle way with it. I really enjoyed being back on Twitter for publication day and it’s great connecting with readers here. It has to help in drumming up publicity but I do believe in moderation and not ramming your book down people’s timeline every few tweets. That becomes tedious and unnecessary.
What’s your most favourite thing about being an author?
I have been in public service since I was sixteen and see this as another branch of it. The best thing for me is that I can, hopefully, give people a break from everyday life and immerse them in a decent read. We all need space every now and then to just enter an alternative world.
What’s your least favourite thing about being an author?
I haven’t found one yet! Being an author is a privilege and I feel very humbled to have the chance to be one.
Where do you see your writing career 5 years from now?
Great question! One of my old DCI’s asked the same thing when I was accepted onto a child murder, investigative, team. I was always looking at the next way I could develop as a detective and I wish to see how much I can develop my writing over this time. It’s a major achievement to be taken on by Fahrenheit Press. If I can still be with this publisher in five years time then I’ve done very well as he doesn’t take on poor writing regardless of whether you’re an author with him or not.
What’s next for you?
I’m working on the next Batford novel and at the editing stage of a first draft.
I often wonder are authors voracious readers. Do you read much, and if so, what kind of books do you enjoy?
You can’t write unless you voraciously read. I read a book a week and that’s voracious enough for me. I read across genres although I draw the line at romance! I love books that make you want to invest your time in connecting with the pages. If I don’t like a book I’ll stop reading it. I’m not one for carrying on in the hope it gets better. I love books by Cormac McCarthy, Ed McBain, Phillip K Dick and George Orwell. Sven Hassel was my favourite author as a youth. I read Epiphany Jones by Mike Grothaus, recently, and really enjoyed his writing.
Can you tell me your all time favourite book, or if you have to, your top 5?
The Road by Cormac McCarthy followed by Fight Club by Chuck Palahniuk.
Has there been any books you’ve read that you wish you had written?
The Road. An incredible book that evokes fear, and anxiety, with every page. A superb example of human struggle and love. McCarthy defies convention in the way he writes. Be your own voice.
When you’re not writing, how do you spend your time?
I have a young family so they’re a priority. We have a springer spaniel that requires a significant amount of attention too! We live on the coast so walks are a joy.
Have you any hobbies that aren’t book-related?
I’m passionate about photography so indulge in this whenever I get the opportunity. I never leave the house without my camera; it’s become a part of me.
What’s your favourite holiday destination?
I loved going to Bali. Such a beautiful place, and full of culture. I can recommend Scotland too.
At the moment it’s the venison meatballs at The Clachan Inn in Dalry.
Last but not least, why writing? Why not something else?
I had to retire from policing due to a diagnosis of Muscular Dystrophy. This is a rare, degenerative, disease that affects the muscles. Aside from mobility problems it comes with fatigue and pain that can mean a day in bed. At these times I found that if I didn’t have a decent book to read, the pain was worse. You’re focused on the pain and not distracted by words. I chose to write in the hope that my writing will provide some escape for those having a bad day and just want to escape into another world and spend some time there.
*Huge thanks to Ian for answering my questions! 🙂
I don’t know where to start with this review to be honest. I’ve written and deleted it more than once. Not because I didn’t enjoy Rubicon, but because I couldn’t put the bloody book down once I started it, I was hooked!
Rubicon is quite a book. It is dark, gritty and packed with action. The main characters, Sam Batford and Klara Winter are like chalk and cheese, so I really enjoyed their brief interludes during the course of the story. Both after the same thing, but for wildly different reasons, their story arc was really fun to read!
Batford is an undercover officer, corrupt as you like, and not one bit sorry. This attitude translates really well into his story as it makes him almost a bit of a lad, in terms of his cockiness and general devil-may-care approach to certain things. He’s a bit of a renegade, let’s be honest, but he is also my favourite part of the story!
I really enjoyed reading Rubicon, not least because the author’s previous experience in this line of work really shines through, but also because it’s not my usual kind of crime read. I tend not to read these gangland-y (not a word, I know!) books but I am SO glad I got to read this little gem.
Ian Patrick has a great writing style. Short, pacy chapters mean you’re constantly turning the page to see what the hell Batford is going to do next, and because he’s a bit of an asshole, you know he’ll be up to no good. Can’t wait to see where the author takes us with his next one.