Getting Involved

djharrison99 Uncategorized Leave a Comment

  Is this your reaction to injustice?   If you’re anything like me you’re constantly hearing about situations that make you mad. The news is full of injustices and bad behaviour. The kind of things that make you want to do something about them. If you’re anything like me, you spend a few minutes being indignant then fail to follow through with anything concrete. Oh, now and again I might sign a petition but only if it’s emailed to me and all I have to do is click on the link. Actually doing something would involve time and money and might also include personal risk. Most of us don’t feel that we’re in a position to commit to that extent, we have other priorities that take precedence. We’ve got work to do, families to feed, a living to earn, children to play with, television to watch, books to read. Don’t …

djharrison99Getting Involved

Who’s Jenny Parker?

opencirclebooks Uncategorized Leave a Comment

 People often ask me where I get my characters from. One rather cynical soul accused me of ripping off people I know by putting them in books, making money from them and not paying them a penny! Well, that’s not the way I work. Really. There are a few people that think they recognise themselves in Due Diligence. One of them is right. All the rest are mistaken. Sorry. My main character, Jenny Parker, is certainly not based on any individual. She’s a product of my imagination, created by my desire to write about an ordinary person who gets caught up in serious crime. I wanted to explore the predicament of someone struggling without any safety net. I made her an accountant for two reasons. First, unlike someone who works for the law enforcement agencies, there’s no obvious support system for accountants who get into trouble. Putting her fate in the …

opencirclebooksWho’s Jenny Parker?

Just Because It’s Fiction Doesn’t Mean It’s Not True

djharrison99 Uncategorized Leave a Comment

They say that truth is stranger than fiction. Someone (probably Mark Twain) said that the difference between fiction and non-fiction is that fiction has to make sense. Some of you will have read a previous post http://djharrison99.blogspot.co.uk/2014/01/money-laundering-regulations.html where Jenny Parker tried to pay cash into a bank account and got herself into difficulties. A good friend of mine, and someone who has certainly read Due Diligence, fell into the same trap very recently. My friend is about to embark on an exciting business venture and is setting up a new company. One of the investors gave him a few thousand pounds in cash because he didn’t have the bank account details. On attempting to pay this into his account, my friend was taken aside, put in an interrogation room, visited and questioned by various people then told that the bank wouldn’t accept the money. He asked them if they would take a …

djharrison99Just Because It’s Fiction Doesn’t Mean It’s Not True

Ukraine

djharrison99 Uncategorized Leave a Comment

As I write, all hell is about to break loose in Ukraine. Part of the second Jenny Parker novel, Proceeds of Crime, is set in Ukraine and I have a lot of sympathy for the plight of the Ukrainian people. In the book, Jenny befriends a Ukrainian girl who has found a husband in the UK through a ‘Romance Tour’ or ‘find a bride service’. Her twin sister hasn’t been so lucky, though. She’s gone missing after a similar attempt to get to the prosperous West. The situation highlights the disparity in wealth between the Ukraine and the UK. The Ukrainians are often so desperately poor that they will do anything to get to the UK. And I mean anything. The recent events, the protests in Kiev, the shootings and the ousting of the Russian-friendly president are all a result of the Ukrainians being desperate to improve their economic situation. …

djharrison99Ukraine

National Crime Agency

djharrison99 Uncategorized Leave a Comment

The NCA became operational in October 2013. This may not mean much to you but I’m a crime writer and I’m getting pretty excited about this new organisation. It appears to be the UK equivalent of the American FBI which has provided a rich source of stories and characters for us writers. Remember Clarice Starling in Silence of the Lambs? Since the mid 1930’s and J Edgar Hoover, the FBI has been at the forefront of novels, film and television.  The arrival of an UK equivalent is a momentous event in crime fiction history. As a novelist writing stories set in the present, I can’t ignore current events and still retain credibility. If the local police force turn up to investigate and the reader knows full well it ought to be the NCA it’s not helpful to the plot. As both Due Diligence and Proceeds of Crime involve organised crime, …

djharrison99National Crime Agency

Bankers

djharrison99 Crime, Lifestyle, Thriller Leave a Comment

Bankers should be spelled with a capital W. If you haven’t worked out how our financial system works, let me assist. You put your money into a bank or another financial institution such as a pension provider or investment company. These brilliant, exceptional, essential, amazingly well paid people we call bankers look after it for us. They ‘invest’ our money, or, to put it another way, gamble it on some financial horse race. If they win, they win. They get loads of money. If they lose, we lose, they still win, they get loads of money. If they do something really stupid and bring the whole financial world to a collapse, we lose our jobs, we’re subject to austerity measures and they get bailed out by the government using our tax money. If they do something illegal like this: http://www.theguardian.com/business/2013/dec/04/banks-rate-rigging-libor-euribor-rbs-citigroup-jpmorgan They get fined and we pay the fine, either as …

djharrison99Bankers

Money Laundering Regulations

djharrison99 Crime, Lifestyle, Thriller, Uncategorized Leave a Comment

Here is another extract from Due Diligence. Have you ever had a similar experience to Jenny? ___________________________________________ As I queue in line at the bank, an officious lady with hair slightly too blonde and lipstick definitely too pink accosts me. She is carrying a clip board and wearing a navy blue uniform with the bank logo on its breast. ‘Can I help you?’ she demands busily. Her manner is brusque and unhelpful, in direct contrast to her words. ‘Oh.’ I am taken aback at first, deep in my own guilty thoughts. Having grabbed the bundle of cash this morning I decide to open a bank account with it during my lunch break, a sole account, one that Tim is unaware of, my account just for me and my future. It seems a safer place to keep the twenty grand and as I stand here excitedly I wish I’d brought it …

djharrison99Money Laundering Regulations

An Offer You Can’t Refuse

djharrison99 Uncategorized Leave a Comment

Here is an extract from the beginning of Due Diligence, the first Jenny Parker novel. When you’ve read it, let me know what you think Jenny should have done differently. As I sit on the edge of the giant bed alone at last in the functional tidiness of my Travel Lodge room, the feeling of vague unease I had after first examining Associated Composites’ accounts has grown into a realisation that there is something very wrong. Every attempt I make to get to the bottom of things is met with ill-disguised fudging and at this rate of progress I could be here for a long time. I really do need to get home tomorrow; I’m concerned about what’s happening there. Tim tells me all is well, Toby has been a good boy; he has eaten all his tea and he went to bed at the right time and is sleeping …

djharrison99An Offer You Can’t Refuse

Letting Go

djharrison99 Uncategorized Leave a Comment

Letting go can be difficult. But it is the key to happiness. Let me explain what I mean. As we grow up, we get lots of ideas stuck in our heads. These images and voices determine our lives and control our feelings. The biggest influences often contain the word ‘ought.’ Things ought to be better, I ought to have a better life/body/partner/job etc. etc. You get my drift. I’m already thinking this blog ought to be better but what the hell, I’ve started so I’ll persevere a bit longer. Take away the voice that says ‘ought’ and what’s left? A realisation of how things are. Of how I am, of how the world is. And none of those things are the way I planned, expected or desired, maybe. So what do I do? I wish for something better. It’s only natural. If, however, I can let go of all that, …

djharrison99Letting Go

Bribery and Corruption

djharrison99 Uncategorized Leave a Comment

Jenny Parker is having a hard time. She’s desperate to take her baby son and leave her husband but can’t afford to. In the course of her work as an accountant, she undertakes a due diligence exercise and thinks she has uncovered some irregularities. She voices her suspicions to a colleague but he overrules her. A representative of the company she’s investigating gives her an envelope containing ten thousand pounds in cash. He makes it clear that this is payment for a positive report, which she knows is going to result even if she objects. Whether she takes the money or not, the outcome of the exercise is going to be the same. The money is enough to change her life, to allow her to make a new home for herself and her son. What would you advise Jenny to do? If you were faced with the same circumstances, what …

djharrison99Bribery and Corruption