Celebrated writer Jeffrey Archer, who would be 80 years next year, says he has taken up a challenge from his readers to create a new character William Warwick and his goal now is to work on finishing the remaining seven books in the series.
Soon after he completed The Clifton Chronicles series, some readers wrote to him asking about Harry Clifton’s eponymous hero from his own fictional novels, William Warwick.
“I decided to take on that challenge and create a new series with William Warwick as the central character. But I didn’t want to write a detective story, rather a story about a detective,” he says.
Archer has just come out with Nothing Ventured , the first of the eight books of the series which is about the life of Warwick – as a family man and a detective who will battle throughout his career against a powerful criminal nemesis.
The British author plans to write one book a year to complete the series.
“I feel very privileged to have had many No. 1 bestsellers around the world, and my goal now is to keep going to finish the seven books in the William Warwick series,” Archer told PTI .
He is currently working on the second novel in the series which will focus on Warwick’s time as a young detective sergeant in the elite drugs unit.
“Should he ever make it to commissioner will depend as much on William Warwick’s determination and ability as my hopes for longevity – mine, not yours,” he says.
William always wanted to be a detective. Much to his father Sir Julian Warwick QC’s dismay, he decides not to become a barrister like him and his sister Grace but join London’s Metropolitan Police Force.
After graduating from university, William begins a career that will define his life: from his early months on the beat under the watchful eye of his first mentor, Constable Fred Yates, to his first high-stakes case as a fledgling detective in Scotland Yard’s arts and antiquities squad.
Investigating the theft of a priceless Rembrandt painting from the Fitzmolean Museum, he meets Beth Rainsford, a research assistant at the gallery who he falls hopelessly in love with, even as Beth guards a secret of her own that she’s terrified will come to light.
While William follows the trail of the missing masterpiece, he comes up against suave art collector Miles Faulkner and his lawyer, Booth Watson QC, who are willing to bend the law to breaking point to stay one step ahead of William.
Meanwhile, Faulkner’s wife, Christina, befriends William, but whose side is she really on? Nothing Ventured , published by Pan Macmillan, seeks to answer that.
Archer, whose novels and short stories include Kane and Abel and Cat O’ Nine Tales , describes Warwick as bright, determined, decent, naive and kind .
He says he hasn’t decided on the complete journey of Warwick as he thinks it would be impossible to plan out in any great detail an entire series.
“I find my characters sometimes lead me in a different direction to where I was originally going. I do know that William will make it to Commissioner, but who knows what will happen to him then, he says.