Free Time Travel

Books are portals to other places, other times. They possess that fragment of magic to transport a reader, to wrap them in another world.

I hope that’s what I’ve managed with Free From All Danger. To take you to 1736, to walk through Leeds with Richard Nottingham, to see the place through his eyes as he returns as Constable. To hear the noise, smell it all, see the faces…

Some of might have have read the previous six books in the series. The last appeared in 2013, more than four years ago. At the end of the last book, Fair and Tender Ladies, Richard retired.

But things change, live never stands still, and circumstances bring him back. The big question for him is whether he can still do the job…


“Sometimes he felt like a ghost in his own life. The past had become his country, so familiar that its lanes and its byways were imprinted on his heart. He remembered a time when he’d been too busy to consider all the things that had gone before. But he was young then, eager and reckless and dashing headlong towards the future. Now the years had found him. His body ached in the mornings, he moved more slowly; he was scarred inside and out. His hair was wispy and grey and whenever he noticed his face in the glass it was full of creases and folds, like the lines on a map. Sometimes he woke, not quite sure who he was now, or why. There was comfort in the past. There was love.

Richard Nottingham crossed Timble Bridge and started up Kirkgate, the cobbles slippery under his shoes. At the Parish Church he turned, following the path through the yard to the graves. Rose Waters, his older daughter, married and dead of fever before she could give birth. And next to her, Mary Nottingham, his wife, murdered because of his own arrogance; every day he missed her; missed both of them. He stooped and picked a leaf from the grass by her headstone. October already. Soon there would be a flood of dead leaves as the year tumbled to a close.”


Bringing Richard back was like spending time with an old, trusted friend and a long time away. I treasured it. I value Richard, his family, and I want to take you with me to spend time with them, to live their lives.

My copies of the book arrived on Monday, and it was a thrill hold hold one, to open it. By now, you’d think I’d be used to it. But this is…special. Some of you had emailed to ask when Richard would return. Here’s your answer.

The book is published in the UK on October 31 – four months later elsewhere. If you’re close to Leeds on Thursday, November 9, I hope you’ll come to the launch for it, at the Leeds Library on Commercial St (the oldest subscription library in England, in the same building since 1808. There will be a specially-composed soundtrack, and some live music. Starts at 7 pm, and I’d love to fill the place…

Obviously, I hope you’ll buy the book. I’d love that. But I know that many can’t afford it. Borrow it from your library – support libraries in every way you can. If they don’t have it on order, request it…

More than anything, I hope you enjoy it. And thank you, because without readers, writers are nothing.

Free From All Danger 1

14 thoughts on “Free Time Travel

  1. PL Bennett

    I just “found” your books. I am on #6 of Richard Nottingham series. Wonderful! Haven’t started on your others yet, but are most certainly on my list.
    Thank you!

      1. Lee Catton

        Been off work due to an injury Chris just getting myself back up and running, and getting fit again nearly there. I’ve been using my free time wisely reasearching the history of Leeds, especially Kirkgate. I’ve secured a place in November on a training course for the conservation and Historical development of Kirkgate. There still doing archeological investigations which needs to be done, but I hope it’s restored in my lifetime before anymore Georgian buildings are destroyed. I’d like to see it pedestrianised and full of artisans and culture, I’m allowed to dream Chris!

    1. Lee Catton

      Hi Chris I’m just enquiring about your book launch on the 9th, I’m not sure if me and my two sisters are book on. I believe it’s tickets only how would I acquire the tickets if any are still available. Cheers Lee

      Sent from my iPhone


      1. Hi Lee. Go on to the Leeds Library website. There’s a link on there for the event, click on that and you’ll be able to book via Eventbrite. It was having problems for a while last night, but I’m told that was fixed. I think your sisters are both booked now, but I’m not sure of that.

  2. Margaret Abraham

    I have been asking for your new book for weeks ,I thought it had been published already must order it next week . good luck with your promotion night.

    Margaret Abraham

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