James Murphy is a Northern Irish writer working within the genre of Crime Fiction. His debut novel, the first in The Terror Trilogy, The Rise of Terror, was first published in 2016 and achieved a second print run with Excalibur Press in 2017, having been met with excellent reviews. James has since achieved Professional Membership Status with the Irish Writers Centre and teaches Crime Fiction Writing classes both online and present in person. The second book in the Terror Trilogy, The Terror Within was released in April 2019. It too was met with excellent reviews and further cemented James’ status as a writer of compelling and page turning crime fiction.
After obtaining a Single Honours English Degree from Queen’s University Belfast, he embarked on a teaching career, first entering the classroom just over 20 years ago. In the intervening years he has become a successful educationalist, holding the offices of Head of English Department, Vice Principal and School Principal along the way and guiding schools both in Northern Ireland and across the UK to leading edge status. Still working broadly within the field of education, he is now a member of the Faculty of Education, Edge Hill University, helping to develop and support the teachers of the future. In addition to this role, James also holds active directorship of Merlin Arts CIC and The Northern Ireland Festival of Writing, where he and his co-founders work to improve the lives of others through the power of writing. It was after a visit to a Medium and a well-timed word from his wife that gave the west Belfast man the confidence to get writing, and he’s never looked back since.
The final book in the Terror Trilogy, Dark Light was published in November 2020.
James is also the host of the hugely successful podcast, A Life Of Crime (Writing) with James Murphy, and the popular radio show, Crime Scene with James Murphy on Belfast 247.
Following the brutal murder of his Uncle outside a semi-derelict school building on West Belfast’s Falls Road, Mark Shaw inherits sole proprietorship of Farset Investigations. In the wake of a failed police investigation, Shaw vows to find his Uncle’s killer himself, unaware that in doing so, he will find himself on the trail of not one, but two cult movements and their respective leaders, putting the lives of himself, his family and his newly assembled investigation team on the line.
The self-proclaimed, Terror, alter-ego of Belfast Chronicle reporter, Caleb Doyle, has vowed to rid the world of people who he has deemed are #famousforallthewrongreasons and in doing so, has created a worldwide following, keen to do his will.
The Prophet, global leader of The Enlightenment Movement has total and absolute control of those who are members of his Church. He will stop at nothing to retain his power, the great wealth he has amassed and to cover up the many crimes and misdemeanours of those who act in his name, including bribery, corruption and murder.
Farset Investigations- Based on the site of the former St. Comgall’s Primary School in West Belfast, this building holds many secrets, some of which it has given up with the help of Psychic Medium, Patrick Rodgers, an unlikely ally, but soon to be associate of the Farset Team.
This first novel in the series, an inverted detective story, although primarily based in the West Belfast area, takes us from, Liverpool to Strauss Park, New York and from London to Perth and beyond, as Shaw and his team try to bring to an end a string of murders and find justice for his Uncle.
An early morning phone call to his New York hotel signals the descent of Mark Shaw’s life into turmoil. Alone in the US, the Belfast born Private Detective must face a succession of earth shattering pieces of news from his home Province whilst he is stranded on the other side of the Atlantic, unable to take action.
With his elderly Father about to be arrested as prime suspect in the murder of a young woman in 1977 following the reopening of a missing persons cold case, Shaw must also deal with the news that his wife is currently fighting for her life having been brutally stabbed as she slept at home, just feet away from their young daughter.
“He couldn’t have survived, it’s not possible”.
Famed serial killer and nemesis to Shaw, Terror has survived an attempt on his life and is seeking retribution, placing the continued existence of all those associated with Farset Investigations under threat, a threat that is soon magnified drastically when the actions of one team member puts them firmly back on the radar of cult leader, The Prophet.
The quest to apprehend Terror and protect the team from The Prophet’s equally vengeful intent brings with it the dark realisation that sometimes we have to act against our better nature to protect the ones we love.
The question is…how far are you willing to go?
When a late night altercation on a Belfast mountaintop leads to murder, all the evidence points just one way. Boston. Faced with the news that the victim was likely Terror, Mark Shaw must grapple with events in his recent past that are a mystery even to him, in order to uncover the truth.
As the discovery of other bodies places the identity of the first victim in doubt, what begins as a holiday for Shaw and his family soon becomes a nightmare as events on either side of the Atlantic conspire to threaten their future and tear the very fabric of Farset Investigations apart.
With a team broken by their own actions and divided by those of others, they are far from prepared for what lies ahead, but face it they must. A sinister act of revenge from cult leader, The Prophet brings with it child abduction and tragedy, whilst new murders bearing links to Terror and his followers bring with them a shocking realisation with global ramifications.
In this, the chilling conclusion to the Terror trilogy, Mark Shaw must first heal his broken team before leading them through the most dangerous fight of their lives. A fight that will bring them directly back into the evil world of Terror and onto an inevitable collision course with cult religious group, The Enlightenment.
The question, will they be victorious and if so, at what cost?