How well do you know the person you live with?

After_Cover_for_KindleMost of us in living in long-term relationships assume a lot things about our partner based on trust.

It’s only when something unexpected happens that we start to doubt that trust – which is one of the themes explored in After.

Consider this moment in Paul Ford’s life, just after Inspector West has told him something Paul was not expecting.

“What the hell had Josie been up to? Why on earth would she be getting into a limo when she was meant to be going to school on the bus? She had turned up at school on time on Monday, so maybe Anna had picked her up. So what went wrong on Tuesday that led to her being shot dead? No, Anna picking her up didn’t make sense. Anna certainly wouldn’t have shot her. Not Anna. She didn’t even like killing bugs. Besides, she had her own kids to get to school.

Did he really know her? Shit. How much other stuff didn’t he know about her? They’d been married for nearly twenty years but he was starting to doubt whether he knew her at all. How often had he assumed she had left the house to catch the bus to work and she had done something else? What really happened on those weekends when she was away with Anna and he was home looking after the boys? Was she really working back after school or meeting someone with a stretch limo to do who knew what before coming home?

Stop it! You’re letting your fears run amuck! What’s that phrase you need here? Show me the evidence! That’s it. Take a few deep breaths and get a grip before you talk yourself into believing this shit! God, the girl’s only been dead a day. What on earth are you thinking? There will be a rational explanation. There has to be.

Isn’t a body with a bullet in the head evidence? Well, it says you’re dead but it doesn’t explain why, and that’s the bit I don’t know. Why would someone shoot her? She wouldn’t hurt a fly. Oh, Josie, what did you get mixed up in?”

If you haven’t read the whole story yet, get yourself a copy from:

Amazon or Kobo or iTunes or GooglePlay or Smashwords or Barnes&Noble or Flipkart 

and find out what Josie did get mixed up in.

Thanks for dropping by, Peter.

Writing murder

Most of us do not commit murder, except in our fantasies.

It’s okay, you can admit to those murderous thoughts you’ve had about killing your boss, your spouse, that idiot that cut you off in traffic, or the one that got the promotion you know belonged to you.

Despite our best efforts to suppress our murderous intentions, sometimes we fail. If we’re lucky we stop ourselves or someone else stops us before it’s too late. Sometimes we commit murder.

I write about murder. In the first two novels of the Inspector West series, for example, close to a dozen characters lose their lives. Crime fiction is largely about murder, although it can delve into other types of crime.

It seems we like to read about people being murdered. Maybe, like me, you’re interested in why people commit murder, or how people deal with the impact of sudden loss in their lives. The other thing about crime writing that I find interesting is the impact of what appear to be the random intersections of different storylines.

Some crime readers are into what are known as police procedurals, addicted to following how the police go about their work in solving the crime. I’m not much into police procedures. I take a minimalist approach to how the police go about doing things. I’m more interested in the people involved in the investigation.

From my perspective, the plot needs to have a resolution. Storylines have to be pulled together in a way that does not leave the reader hanging – not knowing what happened or who did it. That does not necessarily mean that the crime has to be solved by the investigating officer.


In After, the first book in the series, the story follows a murder mystery plot. Josie Ford is murdered and the story moves towards finding out who killed her and why.



In The Holiday, the second book in the series, the story follows a mystery suspense plot. Kieran Moore is killed and his grandson, Toby, is abducted. The identity of the killers is known to the reader at the time of the murder, and the story moves towards finding out Toby’s fate and whether the criminals will be caught or not.

What are you looking for when you’re reading a crime novel?

Did I get anywhere near the mark?

Thanks for dropping by, Peter


Opinions – we all have them.

There’s nothing wrong with having an opinion, as long as you understand that it’s just how you see it. The danger with opinions arises when you think your’s is the truth or when you believe someone else’s is the truth or holds more value than your own.

When you mistake your opinion for the truth you are closing your mind to other possibilities. Let’s face it, when you form an opinion about anything it’s based on your interpretation of ‘the facts’, and your interpretation is informed by all of your previous experiences and opinions. What you decided were ‘the facts’ may not even be the whole picture of the event but only a small fragment of a larger whole. And, if that’s true for you, it’s also true for everybody else.

So, does anyone know the whole truth about anything? Probably not, in my opinion. Each of us can only see the observable aspects of an event from our particular point of view. None of us can see into the workings of another’s mind, although some of us act as if we can – assuming we know what others think of us or why they do and say whatever it is we are fixated on.

The beauty of opinions is that there can be so many of them, and each person’s opinion is a window into how they see or understand an event, life, the universe and all that other stuff we deal with on a daily basis. Or they might be telling you how they see things in their relationship with you or why they think gold is the best investment option.

Remember, a person’s opinions tell you what they value, what they believe, how they see the world, how they see you. Their opinion is always about them. It’s never about you – even when they tell you it is.

In the world of writing we ask people for their opinions, not about us personally but about our work – the books we spend so much time writing and offering to you to read. Once these opinions came solely from people we fondly referred to as critics – you know, those people who get paid to write reviews for newspapers and magazines.

Today, with sites like Amazon and Goodreads, the world has changed. Now the people most important to writers, their readers, have a platform for expressing their opinion of a book.

Every writer, me included, has an inflated opinion of their work. We think our book is fantastic, our characters believable, our story is engaging and pulls at the heartstrings of our readers, that the book is well written and that nobody guessed who did it until near the end.

But how do we know for sure that anyone agrees with our opinion of our work? Well, unless you tell us, we don’t.

So, if you’ve read After, the first book in the Inspector West series, log on to Amazon and/or Goodreads, give it a star rating and key in a few lines to tell us what you think about the book.

And if you haven’t read it yet, hop over to Amazon and get yourself a copy – and when you’ve read it, go back and leave a review.

Note: If you’re an iBook reader or use a Kobo reader it’s now available from iTunes and Kobo – just type ‘Peter Mulraney’ into the search box.

Thanks for dropping by,


Sex matters – another perspective

My previous post explored sex matters from OSHO’s perspective.  For another perspective I’ve turned to Paul Ford, whose thoughts on the matter open my book.

‘It says here that a bloke can expect to live until he’s ninety, maybe even older if he’s fit and healthy, and gets plenty of sex.’

‘Paul, turn out the light and go to sleep. I’m too tired.’

‘Relax. I wasn’t chatting you up. I just hadn’t thought about living that long. I thought I’d be dead way before ninety.’

‘You’ll be bloody dead before morning if you don’t shut up and let me get some sleep.’

Paul switched off the light. He lay there thinking about living for another fifty years or so and wondering how he was going to pay for twenty five to thirty years of retirement living. He would just have to get serious about financial planning, once they had passed through the private school fees paying phase of middle class living. The last time he had seriously reviewed the family budget the most obvious fact was that their expenses matched their income. There was no surplus for contingencies.

His thoughts turned to Josie. It was always a challenge being next to her in the bed. He wanted sex every time he touched her naked body. Josie, however, had a different perspective. Obviously, as far as Paul could see, God had a twisted sense of humour. How else could you explain the different arousal rates between the sexes? He sees or thinks naked woman – instant arousal, with lumping great erection advertising the state of his interior monologue. She requires hours of talking, coupled with gentle, slow foreplay, before she even thinks about having sex and, even after all that, she is just as likely to roll over and go to sleep, and leave him there with his dripping erection. At least, that had been his experience.

‘Paul, stop tossing and turning! Every time you move you pull the covers off my shoulders.’

‘Sorry. I’ll try to die as soon as possible.’

She ran her smooth hand over his belly. It felt good. His penis stirred from its frustrated slumber.

‘I’m sorry, honey. I’m just really exhausted and I’m finding it hard to go to sleep.’

She snuggled up to him. Within three minutes she was asleep.

It was no wonder prostitution was a thriving business, he thought. It was married men who required the services of prostitutes and supposedly celibate men, in the guise of clergy, who were most strident in their opposition to the profession. He wondered what it would be like having sex with a prostitute. She certainly wouldn’t engage with the client on a personal level. After all, the client was just another transaction and, to survive as a person, the prostitute would have to shut down her emotional self while she was on the job. He decided he’d stick with Josie.

He thought of those times when they did connect and the sex was indescribable. What was the point of sex anyway? It wasn’t about the physical relief, even though that was good, it was about the sacredness of intimacy and that required connection on all three levels of being: physical, emotional and spiritual. He understood why communication failure led to relationship breakdown. The blokes were too much into the physical to notice that the girls were coming from the emotional looking for the spiritual. He knew it was when he came from the emotional, and they touched the spiritual, that they had great sex in the physical.


You can read the rest of the story at: or, if you don’t like paying for postage on your paperbacks at: BookDepository-After by Peter Mulraney