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Scientist turned Norfolk county councillor adds mystery thriller writer to his CV

PUBLISHED: 15:22 17 December 2018 | UPDATED: 15:31 17 December 2018

David Harrison, has written The Research Man. Pic: David Harrison.

David Harrison, has written The Research Man. Pic: David Harrison.

David Harrison

The former deputy leader of Norfolk County Council has turned novelist, drawing on his own years of experience working in cancer research for his mystery thriller.

The Research Man. Pic: David Harrison.The Research Man. Pic: David Harrison.

Liberal Democrat David Harrison has been a Broadland district councillor for Aylsham since 2004 and has represented the town at Norfolk County Council level since 2007.

But before he entered the world of local politics, he worked as a medical scientist.

In that time he wrote more than 50 scientific articles on biochemistry and nutrition.

But when it came to switching from science to fiction, for his debut novel The Research Man, he had plenty of experience to draw upon.

He said: “I worked in scientific research for many years and actually cut my teeth doing cancer research both in the UK and in the USA.

“I’ve never, ever, seen medical research accurately portrayed in fiction, film, or on television and I thought I’d like to write a mystery thriller set in an English cancer research institute.

“The book is actually a whodunnit/why done it, with a medical backdrop accurately portrayed as it really was.”

And Mr Harrison said he had seen the influence which big money from pharmaceutical companies could have on academic research, which he was keen to get across in his novel.

He said: “It also illustrates the almost incestuous relationship between academic research and the drug companies which are anxious to profit from that knowledge.”

Father-of-two Mr Harrison, who was deputy leader at County Hall from May 2014 until May 2016, said he was pleased with the novel’s twists.

He said: “I think it’s the first novel in which the subject of cancer is really explored - how research is done, how drugs are devised and tested, the potential corruption in the drug testing and the corrosive effect of cancer on the family.”

The book has been published by London-based independent publishers Austin Macauley and is available in Jarrold’s, Waterstones and on Amazon.

Mr Harrison follows fellow Lib Dem county councillor Steffan Aquarone in becoming a published author.

Mr Aquarone, county councillor for Melton Constable, wrote Fourth To First about his election campaign, with his sister Freya.

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