Salty creeks meander down to wide mud flats to meet the sea. Wading birds peck busily beside the rusting hulks of ships that were once target practice for fighter jets on this long-abandoned bombing range. Signs warning about unexploded debris sit alongside the delicate beauty of dragonflies and butterflies.
This is Friskney marsh, and it is the location for much of the action in the crime thriller I am currently writing (my third stand alone novel). It is such an atmospheric, haunting place that I couldn’t resist setting a story here – or at least in a fictitious approximation of it, where its peace is shattered by lies, betrayal, and murder.
The reality is very different, of course. I grew up in the village of Friskney, which abuts the marsh, and have many fond memories of living in a rural location where the peace was shattered regularly by the ear-splitting sound of jets breaking the sound barrier overhead, immediately before dropping their bombs just a couple of miles from the garden I played in.
When I was twelve, we moved nine miles down the road to Skegness. But now I’m revisiting the place of my early childhood – and giving it a sinister twist. I think growing up with the juxtaposition of peace constantly broken by the sounds of war (albeit it ‘practise’ war) made it inevitable that one day I would set one of my books here.