Subtitle: DI Crosier’s Second Big Mystery.
Other text on the cover (see that of Harrowing, attached) Calling at Suicide, Paedophilia & Justice Miscarried
Author: Edwin Tipple
Publishing date: 1st May 2017
Period: UK 1962
Book Plot (not the blurb): Jack (who is 11 years old & lives alone with his mother) awakes to find his mother is missing. A note she left for him to find over breakfast guides him to the railway, where he finds the Railway Police already examining the several dismembered pieces of his mother’s corpse spread along the track where she committed suicide. Jack is taken in by a local family, where all is not what it seems.
A few weeks later DI Crosier must travel by train to attend district police meetings. The train stops in the same place in the late afternoon because of engineering work and he sees Jack playing. As the week progresses, Jack is no longer to be seen. At the end of the week, Crosier suspects that there is a body buried at the playground.
Jack’s body is recovered and further investigation reveals that Jack has been living with a paedophile who facies his teenage stepdaughter, especially when her mother is in hospital. The vicious paedophile is eventually arrested and is falsely convicted of Jack’s murder and sentenced to be hanged. Turns out Jack’s playmates killed him.
After years of Jack’s father not being around, he turns up after committing several murderous acts and causes a train crash to occur at the place where Jack’s mother died. The story of the crash is based on fact taken from a true event which happened in the very same spot some years earlier.
The back story is about DI Crosier’s affair with his female sergeant and whether he should get a divorce. Unfortunately, the sergeant is seriously injured in the crash. Both these elements remain unresolved and will continue in the next DI Crosier novel.
My thoughts on the cover design, though I’m open to your suggestions.
Setting: British Railways, passing through the rural town of Winsford, mid-Cheshire, England.
Scene: Double track railway. It is mid-summer at 7 a.m. The sunlight is low coming from the right. It could cast long shadows.
Viewpoint: body height, as if standing slightly to the right side of the tracks. A grassy bank runs along the left track. The ground alongside the right track is flat.
Jack: 11 years old from a poor family. He is wearing a shirt perhaps partly tucked into scruffy short trousers, and a threadbare sleeveless pullover and shoes.
Police Sergeant: female mid-thirties. Smartly dressed in a tunic, black skirt, stockings and shoes. Her cap could have a narrow, chequered black and white band around it.
Jack’s mother: has recently thrown herself under a train which would have come towards the viewer, on the right-hand track. What remains of the body has been covered/partially covered under a bloodstained sheet which could reveal part of a limb sticking out.
Action: Railway Policewoman has her left arm around Jack. They are walking away from the viewer & corpse towards a bridge where perhaps a group of policemen are waiting but not essential. A police car could be waiting at the foot of the bridge embankment.
Other notes: I may want the cover for a 6 x 9 inch paperback too, so this aspect/proportion is essential. If the Poor Jack design is successful, I will want the elderly cover of Harrowing reworked and also new cover for a third novel in the DI Crosier Calling at series – working title Buy, Bye Baby – commissioned also. Therefore, the style/format of all three covers should be of a recognisable identity.
Each of these novels features the railway police and are based on true events. Although trains are the vehicle for the plots, I don’t want a cover which turns off potential readers if they perceive them to be for railway buffs.