Former head’s thriller puts a cross next to the ‘innocent’ tag

A RETIRED headteacher’s debut novel aims to get readers thinking about the “innocent” tag usually associated with children.

David Hudson spent more than 40 years in the classroom and head’s office in Rotherham, eventually being awarded an OBE for his services to education.

His new book, Missing Joan, aims to provide an insight into the troubles that teenagers can cause — particularly to their parents.

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Former Wickersley head David explained: “I had the idea of the characters for the book and wanted to explore the concept of innocence and guilt as applied to children.

“Adults often describe children as ‘innocent’ and superficial thinking might lead to these adults imagining children never doing anything particularly evil or bad.

“Indeed, we're shocked when they do.

“The teenagers in Missing Joan are inexperienced and to that extent they are innocent and they behave, hopefully, as teenagers are expected to behave.

“But they are also manipulative, self-centred and self-serving, and guilty of causing untold heartache to the adults in their lives.

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“I wanted to explore the need that adults have to protect and forgive children, no matter what.”

Missing Joan is a multi-layered thriller which follows the fortunes of single mum and detective Julie Marsden as she probes a kidnapping and murder.

Plagued by her parenting inadequacies, the 40-year-old becomes involved with a suspect.

And a web of intrigue is soon spun as friendships from the past as well as current are questioned and doubted.

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David added: “Chief Inspector Julie Marsden is pushing 40 and knows that she is overweight and short of allure — and she’s convinced that she’s the world's worst mother.

“Her belligerent 16-year-old daughter and useless ex-husband Dennis seem to pose problems hourly, and her love life is non-existent.

“Her job is her go-to place and the kidnapping and murder on her patch have suddenly catapulted her into the big league of major crime.

“And just at this hectic and stressful time, she’s met a man that she knows she can love.

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“Michael Lloyd has to be a suspect in this the biggest case of her career  and he’s her daughter’s headteacher.

“Julie shouldn't get romantically involved — she shouldn’t, but she does.”

David said throughout his career as a chemistry teacher, headteacher and academy trust chief executive, he had always harboured an ambition to write.

Now retired, the father-of-two is currently putting the final touches to a sequel of Missing Joan.

For more details, visit Amazon and search for David Hudson, where the paperback and Kindle formats of Missing Joan are both available.


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