The Unwanted bookcover
A crime writer, or in fact any writer, is always hunting for interesting snippets of information, turning over stones and furtively searching for what is lurking beneath.

One of the really engaging things about being a crime writer is crawling about in the dark recesses of the criminal mind. I am never happier than when I am plotting and scheming my protagonist’s next move.

Most mornings I am awake early trying to piece together tricky links in the plot. My publicist tells me I should be spending the time working on social media but she doesn’t seem to understand just how important that creative time is for me and I would hate to squander it on tweeting and Face booking – that has to come later in the day!

Anyway, I will return to the topic. Sometimes, it is not necessary to poke about for inspiration; it literally falls from the sky. One such story this week has to be the death of the Russian oligarch Boris Berezovsky. What a name! What a life!

I have been avidly following all that has been going on. This morning’s headlines say that he ‘died from hanging’. Wow! I was shocked when I discovered crack squads of police had gone into his £20 million mansion searching for traces of biological weapons, chemicals and radioactivity. This is the stuff of high quality fiction – yet, it was all unfolding before our very eyes.

What would John le Carre have made of it all I am wondering? Berezovsky’s close associates say that ‘suicide was not in his DNA’ but the post mortem shows that he was hanged. Yet we all know what might have happen; I’ve read the crime thrillers and written them too! Don’t you just love conjecture!

There are so many parts of this story which make it all the more fascinating. Berezovsky was certainly the grit in the Russian oyster but was also desperate to return to his home country. There is even rumour that he wrote to Putin begging to be allowed to return after his forced exile in London.

Yet there is speculation that maybe he was despatched by the Kremlin, whereas there is also the possibility that he never recovered from losing the high profile legal tussle with Abramovich. Does it get any more intriguing than this? Well, the answer is : ‘Yes!’

Reports also suggest that as there was no suicide note; perhaps this was a professional killing after he criticised Vladimir Putin? Yet it doesn’t stop there as there is talk that maybe the oligarch was eradicated as he knew too much about how the West was planning to scupper Putin and that in fact, Berezovsky was helping the West in exchange for repatriation to Russia.

Oh, this is such fertile ground for any crime writer’s imagination. Although you wouldn’t have to change much to make this crime thriller of the decade would you?

Certainly Berezovsky was controversial throughout his life and it looks like this character trait will remain long after his death. I shall try to put all this out of my mind and get on, although my imagination is fizzing with the possibilities.

No, discipline, discipline, I have deadlines to meet and I must get back to the Unwanted.

What is your theory about the Russian oligarch’s demise? I would love to read your perspective on this bizarre story. Do leave a comment.
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