Published: 20 March 2017 at 15:47
Academic’s first Arrowood novel to be published, with TV series in the pipeline
“1895: London Society takes its problems to Sherlock Holmes. Everyone else goes to Arrowood.” That’s the intriguing concept of the debut novel Arrowood, written by Anglia Ruskin University academic Dr Mick Finlay and published by HarperCollins/HQ on Thursday, 23 March.
Mick, a Reader in Psychology at Anglia Ruskin in Cambridge, has drawn on his years of experience to help shape his lead character William Arrowood, a “self-taught psychologist, occasional drunkard and private investigator”.
But he confesses that nothing had prepared him for production company Cave Bear, a division of Tiger Aspect, recently buying the rights to produce a TV series based on his crime thriller, with Kathy Burke signed on as executive producer. In fact, he admits to still being “a little stunned” by the news.
Arrowood is a contemporary of the great Sherlock Holmes, but covers the areas of London that Sherlock, or even Watson, would rarely visit; namely the densely-populated working-class streets south of the river.
Mick, a social psychologist who specialises in learning disabilities, verbal and non-verbal communication and intergroup conflict, explained:
Before entering the academic world, Mick ran a market stall on Portobello Road in London, and has worked as a tent-hand in a travelling circus, a butcher’s boy, a hotel porter, and in various jobs in the NHS and social services. In between his lecturing work at Anglia Ruskin, Mick’s currently busy writing a sequel and admits that he’s been delving into books on Victorian history, as well as psychology, to ensure the novels are as accurate as possible.
Mick is thrilled that Cave Bear – the production company behind Bad Education (BBC3), Together (BBC3) and Psychobitches (Sky Arts) – will be bringing his characters and plots to the screen, and is particularly excited that Cannes Best Actress winner Kathy Burke will be an executive producer on the series.