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First Dead Body

In the late 1960s and early 70s it was perhaps a 'rite of passage' for a young or cub reporter who'd shown some talent to be taken on a 'big story' by the chief crime reporter. The junior's adrenaline, enthusiasm and excitement could be channelled into seeing how major news items are researched and written and, most importantly, how difficult interviews are carried out. For Simon Jardine the sight of his first dead body is the catalyst for a mentoring relationship with the hardened, hard-drinking, hard-grilling crime hack Dave Green, alongside their mutual friend, DJ and part-time private investigator, Tom Freeman. Dave Green knows the identity of the body in East Street, Derby; it's the son of a woman with whom he had an affair while her husband was in prison. First Dead Body is a story of corruption and violence loosely set around the construction of Derby's inner ring road in the early 1970s. First Dead Body encapsulates the life of 1970s reporters when lunches were often long and liquid and it was the norm to meet contacts in pubs like The Dolphin, The Exeter Arms, The Wagon and Horses. With the young reporter's interest in music there were lots of opportunities to visit nightclubs that have since disappeared under re-developments, as well as jazz haunts such as The Crown Club, Spondon, now sadly a pile of rubble.
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About the Author

Tony R. Cox spent the early years of his career at the Derby Evening Telegraph, learning the basics, from collecting names at society funerals (and risking the news editor's wrath if just one name was wrong or missed out), to the stories of praise, hope, fear, and death, which are the lifeblood of a regional evening newspaper. The characters in First Dead Body are amalgams of the many people, including exceptional journalists and ex-journalists, who made up the workings of a large town in a beautiful county. The 1970s was an age of telephones, buses and notebooks; a decade before mobile phones, emails and the internet. How times have changed...

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