Health and Safety ... and murder from an Eastbourne author

Murder in mind ... Rob Crouch's crime novel has been published
Murder in mind ... Rob Crouch's crime novel has been published

The opportunities to commit fiendish murder presented by his former line of work have been turned into a crime novel ... by a retired Environmental Health Officer.

‘No Accident’ is the debut creation of Eastbourne man Rob Crouch.

He has created his own sharp-eyed fictional protégé, Environmental Health Officer Kent Fisher, who can see a murder where others see an accident.

“When I’ve been out on a job with Wealden District Council, whether investigating a workplace accident, a food poisoning case or a pollution incident, at the back of my mind, something has been asking ‘what if someone wanted to commit

murder ...’”, explained Rob, of Langney Point.

“It soon became obvious that there could be some great stories out there.

“When I first started 32 years ago, the attitude was ‘accidents will happen’. But in our game, they shouldn’t. Better understanding of safety issues and new legislation has reduced the risks for everyone. But what if someone set out to abuse the system? That’s where Kent Fisher comes in.”

Rob, 57, wrote ‘No Accident’ in the evenings while working at Wealden. He has now retired from the council and aims to give full-time writing a go. His second Kent Fisher novel, No Bodies, is already well underway.

The Kent Fisher crime mysteries are set in Downland District, a fictional local authority set in the heart of the beautiful Sussex countryside. Many of the locations may seem familiar to local readers.

Kent himself is something of a tortured soul. Disowned by his MP father, hopelessly in love with his office assistant Gemma, and desperately trying to raise enough money to keep his animal sanctuary going, life is always

eventful. And then there are those accidents which keep on happening ...

“An Environmental Health inspector gets to go many places that others don’t,” said Rob. “With some legislation they have more powers of entry than the police.

“You can learn a lot from an unannounced inspection, and Kent is not averse to breaking the law himself, when justified.”

‘No Accident’ is published by the Penmore Press, and is available on Amazon books and other online retailers.

Rob is giving a number of local talks about crime writing. He is speaking at The Hawthorns, Eastbourne, on Friday, August 26, and at Anderida Writers, West Rocks Hotel, Eastbourne, on Tuesday, September 13.

Further information about Rob’s books and the murders in Downland District can be found on his website, http://robertcrouch.co.uk

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