Five on Friday Revisited with David Videcette @DavidVidecette

Whilst I was recuperating I decided to reschedule some of my earlier posts to reach the wider audience that they have now. They’ve been ‘made-over’ to include the YouTube videos that are now a standard feature and the booklist has been brought up to date.

Although I’m now officially back, I still need time to organise my new ‘Fives’ as I held off sending out invites as I didn’t know when I’d be back in the fray. Consequently, I’m keeping my revisited posts as a feature until the end of the year. That gives my invitees time to respond and allows me time to get those posts up and running. I already have several up my sleeve so I can guarantee getting 2022 off to a great start!

Today I’m delighted to feature one of my favourite thriller writers David Videcette. His books, based on true events, are perfect for readers who like their crime fiction as close to real crime as it gets. His recent non-fiction book investigates the case of missing estate agent Suzy Lamplugh, a case many of us will remember.

As an investigator, David has worked on a wealth of famous cases. He’s chased numerous dangerous criminals and interviewed thousands of witnesses.

With decades of policing experience, including expertise in the fields of counter-terror and organised crime, David was a lead detective on the 7/7 London bombings investigation with Scotland Yard.

Today he uses his expertise in his writing, as the author of both true crime investigations and the DI Jake Flannagan thrillers.

Over to David:

Which five pieces of music/songs would you include in the soundtrack to your life and why?

Madness ‘House of Fun’ is a song about a boy on his 16th birthday attempting to buy condoms at a chemist and being misunderstood.  As a consultant in the security industry, I spend a lot of my time people-watching, trying to second guess what members of the public are going to do before they do it, based on their speech and body language patterns. Misunderstanding someone’s motives and moves is something I never want to happen!

The Pierces’ ‘Secret’ is the theme tune to Pretty Little Liars. It’s all about keeping secrets and how sometimes we have to tell. Having worked on keeping secrets with the intelligence services for decades, this song has a particular resonance for me.

Rihanna’s ‘We Found Love’ because of its repeated line, ‘we found love in a hopeless place’. I write about a tough, no-nonsense detective in my novels called Jake Flannagan. He is very much based on me. He, like me, often falls in love with the wrong people, and it always ends in disaster.

Kings of Leon’s ‘Cold Desert’ is about how we carry the burden of guilt around with us all the time. It strikes a chord with me for a number of reasons. I often wonder what life would be like if we could change the decisions we made in the past, and try an alternative route. How different would our worlds be? The song means something to me both personally and on a professional level.

Cheryl Cole ‘Fight for this love’ – This song is about not giving up on a relationship, about sticking with it, and finding a way through whatever is causing problems. It’s something that I see as very important, now, having learned the hard way that good people don’t grow on trees.

What five things (apart from family and friends) would you find it hard to live without.

Writing books and working in security mean that I am away from home for long periods of time. When I do get back there’s very little time to cook anything, so when I’m struggling, the microwave is the most used appliance in my kitchen, I couldn’t live without it!

I work a lot with the media, commentating on terrorism, crime and policing. I have to be up date with pretty much everything that is going on, 24-hours a day. I am hugely reliant on my iPhone and iPad so that I can speak to journalists and get on top of the latest developments in the news, so they are the next two.

The internet. Where would we be without that? I am on it in one way or another all the time. Looking at maps, researching, talking to people and most importantly – tracking people down using their unique data footprints – which I need for my books and my security work.

It’s very easy to get writer’s block. Which can be a real problem when you’ve got a deadline to keep to. I find that my mind is a bit like a sponge. When it’s empty, I need to fill it with something. So, I have an unlimited cinema membership, I take myself off to the cinema and watch whatever film is showing next. Often it’s some dire film that I’d never have gone to see normally. But I always gain something from it, which helps me break my writer’s block.

Give five pieces of advice to your younger self?

I’m very critical of myself. I think this comes from my younger days. I’d like to say to myself: don’t be too hard on yourself; you need to prove very little to anyone.

I’ve learned to trust my gut instincts now, they are almost always right. I’d like to have learned this earlier.

I’m working hard down the gym trying to get back into shape and watching what I eat. If I could meet the younger me, I’d advise myself to stay away from the drink, and get back on the running track for my athletics club.

My youngest daughter was born the month before the 2005 bombings in London. The event had a huge impact on me and prevented me from spending much time with her. If I could meet me in 2004, the year before the bombings, I’d tell my younger self how to stop the attack, fifty-six people would still be alive and I could watch her grow up.

I wrote blogs and articles for magazines for many years, but I didn’t have the confidence to write anything longer. Having now written two novels which been fantastically well received and sold incredibly well, I realise that this nervousness was misplaced. I’d tell the younger me to get drafting that book as soon as possible.

Tell us five things that most people don’t know about you

I really don’t like maggots at all. I think this stems from a life spent as a police detective and having seen too many dead bodies over the years. To me, maggots equal death.

As a detective, I had BBC cameras follow me every day for a year for a TV documentary series about the police. The producers would call me up and tell me what to wear each day so that the continuity was right on screen!

I’m very superstitious. I went through a lengthy stage of not wearing matching socks as I thought it brought me bad luck and I can’t make a cup of tea until I’ve thrown the teabag into the cup from a distance.

I’ve memorised the entire script from the film, ‘The Great Escape’ thanks to watching it obsessively as a child.

I once tracked down a 7/7 bomb factory.

Tell us five things you’d still like to do or achieve.

I still haven’t sky dived and parachuted, which I must do.

I’d really love to spend several months or a year riding a motorbike from London to Singapore.

I’d love to live on a large boat, perhaps even do some sailing in it too…

I want to solve some of the infamous unsolved murders from the past and write a factual book about them. I’m currently in talks with various parties about one very famous unsolved case and potentially making a TV documentary about the whole process.

David’s Books

(NB This post features Affiliate links from which I earn a small commission on qualifying purchases)

The Theseus Paradox

July 2005: in the midst of Operation Theseus, the largest police investigation that the UK has ever known, Detective Inspector Jake Flannagan begins to ask difficult questions that lead to the mysterious disappearance of his girlfriend and his sudden suspension from the Metropolitan Police.

  • Who masterminded London’s summer of terror?
  • Why can’t Flannagan make headway in the sprawling investigation?
  • Is Jake’s absent girlfriend really who she claims to be?

While hunting for the answers to the most complex case in British history, one man will uncover the greatest criminal deception of our time.

The Detriment

The truth costs nothing, but a lie can cost you everything…

June 2007: a barbaric nail bomb is planted outside a London nightclub, a spy is found dead in his garden, and a blazing Jeep is driven into Glasgow airport. Three events bound by an earth-shattering connection that should have remained buried forever.

Detective Inspector Jake Flannagan must uncover how a series of astonishing events are inextricably linked, before the past closes in on him.

We all have secrets we say we’ll never tell…

Finding Suzy

How can someone just disappear?

Step inside a real-life, missing person investigation in this compelling, true crime must-read.

Uncover what happened to missing estate agent Suzy Lamplugh, as David Videcette takes you on a quest to unpick her mysterious disappearance and scrutinise the shadowy ‘Mr Kipper’.

One overcast Monday in July 1986, 25-year-old estate agent Suzy Lamplugh vanished whilst showing a smart London property to a mysterious ‘Mr Kipper’.

Despite the baffling case dominating the news and one of the largest missing persons cases ever mounted, police failed to find a shred of evidence establishing what had happened to her.

Sixteen years later, following a second investigation and under pressure from Suzy’s desperate parents, police named convicted rapist and murderer John Cannan as their prime suspect. However, the Crown Prosecution Service refused to charge him, citing a lack of evidence.

High-profile searches were conducted, yet Suzy’s body was never found. The trail that might lead investigators to her, long since lost.

Haunted by another missing person case, investigator and former Scotland Yard detective, David Videcette, has spent five years painstakingly reinvestigating Suzy’s cold case disappearance.

Through a series of incredible new witness interviews and fresh groundbreaking analysis, he uncovers piece by piece what happened to Suzy and why the case was never solved.

People don’t just disappear…

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