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Murder and mayhem stalks the Lake District in a Wolverhampton author's latest thriller

The potential dangers of social media are explored in best-selling author Mark Edwards’ latest psychological thriller, The Darkest Water.

Wolverhampton-based author Mark Edwards whose latest book, The Darkest Water, is published on Tuesday

The Wolverhampton-based writer delves into the impact of parasocial relationships in the book, which is set in the Lake District.

“Parasocial relationships are where somebody has a relationship with somebody they’ve only seen online. It might be somebody famous like a pop star or an actor or it could be somebody who is making funny videos on TikTok.

“There are lots of people who are social media famous. The message of the book is that you don’t have to be famous to attract dangerous people online,” explains Mark, whose previous novels include Keep Her Secret, Follow You Home, Here To Stay, The House Guest and The Hollows.

“As an author I get lots of messages from people who read my books. Ninety-nine per cent of them are sane and lovely but a few get a little close to the line and you have to be careful about how you interact with them.”

There are two strands to The Darkest Water which is published on Tuesday. It is set in the fictional village of Elderbridge with Mark explaining: “I wanted it to be set in a small place where everybody knows everybody else but they don’t know everybody else’s secrets.”

Copies of The Darkest Water can be found in Waterstones, Wolverhampton

The first strand of the story follows the investigation of the murder of a man whose body is found on a beach.

“He’s found buried up to his neck in sand. Nobody knows who is and it turns out he is a recluse who lives off-grid in the woods,” says Mark.

The idea for this part of the storyline came from a visit to a beach with his children.

“I was having a lovely day and this dark image of someone buried up to their neck just came me – my imagination just conjures up these macabre and disturbing images. I put them in books as my way of dealing with them,” explains Mark.

Investigating the murder is a character that fans of Mark’s novels will already be familiar with – DI Imogen Evans. She featured in The Lucky Ones which was released in 2017 and set in Shropshire.

“I like to always set my books in different places and I needed this one to be set by the coast for the first murder. It wouldn’t have worked in a land-locked county like Shropshire so I moved Imogen Evans to the Lake District,” explains Mark. But anyone who hasn’t read The Lucky Ones can still enjoy his latest offering.

“It’s important to get across that you don’t have to have read The Lucky Ones to read this book.

“It works perfectly well as a stand-alone book,” says Mark.

“DI Evans has the job of finding out who the man was and who wanted to murder him and why,” he adds.

The other strand of the book follows a chef named Calvin who has opened a bakery in the village. “He’s got no customers and he’s about to go bust until his wife persuades him to promote the bakery on social media.

“One of his videos goes viral and he starts to get a lot of customers. He’s very sceptical about social media – he doesn’t even have a Facebook account – but he goes along with it.

“He’s clueless about social media and he thinks he has to reply to all the messages he receives including messages from this woman named Mel. His wife warns him about replying to all of her messages but he just thinks he’s being polite. Then she turns up and may or not be a stalker,” explains Mark.

As with all of his books, readers can expects lots of twists and turns along the way.

“It all connects up with a dark secret Calvin has from when he was a teenager,” explains Mark.

Following the publication of The Darkest Water, he will be appearing at The Heath Bookshop Literature and Music Festival, which takes place in and around Kings Heath, Birmingham from April 18-21.

Mark will be taking part in a crime writers’ panel, which runs from 10am-12pm on April 20 at All Saints Centre, alongside fellow authors Jo Callaghan, Rachel McLean and Barbara Copperthwaite.

More information about the festival can be found at

“It’s nice to go and support these local events. Hopefully, it will be a success and the first of many,” says Mark.

It’s a busy time for the author as he is also giving aspiring writers the chance to pick his brain by running an online course for Writing West Midlands.

“I’m running a course called Everything But The Book which tells people all the stuff they need to know as an author apart from writing the book itself,” he explains.

Topics will include finding an agent, self-publishing, marketing, dealing with rejections and bad reviews and staying motivated.

To book a place on the five-week course, see

The Darkest Water, published by Thomas & Mercer, is available from Amazon from Tuesday.

Copies can also be found in Waterstones in Wolverhampton.


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