Crime Fiction & Essays

In 2009 I began writing crime fiction. I had several reasons for doing so, none of these were associated with making money, which with hindsight is just as well.

John McSweeney, British artist, painter, print-maker, crime fiction writer
Photograph by Simon Butcher @

Instead, it was partly a challenge, to see if I could write a full length book. After all, numerous schools had done little to foster any belief that I could write. However I had lived a fairly eventful life, and I had also read widely. More importantly, I felt I had something to say about the human condition, and at the time I was unable to see a way of expressing those thoughts with painting.

Prior to this, my only paid work as a writer was producing academic content for The Open University. A good friend and colleague, who I presume was under the influence of drink at the time, said that I had a talent for writing. Like me he is an avid reader and we share the same impeccable taste in books — we bonded over beer and a swooning admiration for James Ellroy. Moreover my friend’s dear wife is an editor with the largest publishing house on the planet. So who was I to ignore him?

The rest, as they say, was, and still is, a slush-pile in the making.

My five self published books are available here, including my latest book The Butcher of Cairo.

cover image for The Butcher of Cairo
The Butcher of Cairo – A serial killer hides in plain sight as ANZAC troops prepare for war.

Essays About Books

Essays About Art


Essays About Life