“Closing the Distance” is set in Bristol; the place which adopted me some thirty-five years ago.
I moved to Jack Shepherd’s city when I was broke and out of work, and my brother in law offered me the spare bedroom in his flat in Horfield. I got a job with the local ITV Channel, writing and producing items for a magazine programme.
I have lived and worked in the region ever since. I write about where I live because, like Jack Shepherd the leading character in “Closing the Distance”, I feel part of the place. Even though I haven’t been here as long as he has – he was born and brought up in the city.
Jack Shepherd lives in Bristol and this relationship with the city informs who he is and how he goes about things; like Rebus in Edinburgh and Spenser in Boston. The place is crucial to the storytelling. Jack Shepherd could not live or work anywhere else, not even in a fictionalised version of the city. The names and places are real.