Ex-customs officer from Brampton, near Aylsham, turns to crime (writing)

Stuart Wilson

Stuart Wilson - Credit: © ARCHANT NORFOLK PHOTOGRAPHIC

Customs officer turned crime writer Stuart Wilson is celebrating retirement by publishing his first book.

Mr Wilson, of The Street, Brampton, near Aylsham, retired in September after 38 years as a customs officer.

He is well-known in Norfolk as chairman of the Bure Navigation Conservation Trust and he is also chairman of Brampton Parish Council.

Mr Wilson's customs service career ranged from manning the baggage bench to intelligence investigations into criminal attacks on the UK revenues system.

As retirement approached, he began dedicating more time to writing about his fictional hero Makey, an ex-London detective who moved to Norfolk under a cloud.


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Set in 1973, the self-published work is made up of two Makey stories - Makey's Ghost and The Scorpion Conspiracy. The first sees Makey embroiled in organised crime, police corruption and murder while the second finds him dealing with the aftermath of a criminal conspiracy forged in the closing days of the second world war.

'I think that 1970s period is very rich and fascinating,' said Mr Wilson, 59.

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'Policing was very different then - it's much more bureaucratic today - and it's also something I know about. It represents the era when I started in law enforcement.

'The book is written in a fast-paced gritty style, and is dark in parts, but there are comedic undertones throughout.'

A great fan of author Colin Dexter, Mr Wilson spent his teenage years in Oxford where Dexter's Morse detective stories are set. And like Morse, Mr Wilson's father worked in the city as a detective chief inspector and was an opera lover.

He has already finished a second Makey book, which is currently being edited, and has started writing a third.

But he plans to turn his literary skills to other subjects as well: 'I don't want it to be a long series or it will outlive its freshness,' he said.

The cover illustration for the book is by renowned Norfolk artist Bruce Rushin, from Upton, who designed the £2 coin and one of the 50p coins produced for the London 2012 Olympic games.

? Makey's Ghost and The Scorpion Conspiracy is available in print for £7.99 and on Kindle for £5.65. Copies can be ordered online (www.feedaread.com) and are also available in The Holt Bookshop. They are expected to be on sale in other local bookshops later this month.

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