About Keith Short

I’ve had a happy and fulfilling life to date, during which I’ve occasionally pushed myself to physical or mental limits in order to achieve my goals. I’ve worked hard, participated in several sports and always looked after myself –- yet I’ve never really been an adventurer or a risk taker.

Throughout my career, I’ve written many technical reports containing facts, figures and analysis – yet never any speculation. My writing has always been about accuracy, precision, compelling arguments…

The author Keith Short

Safe and steady, hey? Well, not always. I have a vivid imagination and a passion for reading fiction and watching drama. In my youth, I would never go on holiday without picking up a copy of the latest Wilbur Smith paperback in the airport departure lounge (no Kindles in those days). While on holiday, I wasn’t really sunning myself on a Spanish beach, I was in deepest Africa, surrounded by danger, or on a sailing ship in the middle of a storm… and I dreamed of writing fiction myself one day.

After I retired from the proper job, crime writing sucked me in.

To kick off, I wrote two techno-thrillers, Master of Starlight in 2019 and its sequel, Elixir of Time which was published a year later. Exciting romps, both starring nuclear scientist Leon Dabrowski, but a world away from most people’s reality. Fantasy crime – good escapism.

For my next book, I got up close and personal to a life more rooted in everyday reality; here is a Jake-the-lad, hanging about with a shrewd and intelligent woman who puts up with his womanising, when he has a horrific motorbike accident. In what seems an end to every kind of adventure, Jake is rendered paraplegic. He’s just about coming to terms with his disability and finding life still has plenty to offer when he’s set up for the murder of a woman he’s just met. Not what you’d want. The Butterfly Wheel is set in Gloucester, where I live, and even features a couple of scenes set around rugby – which has a passionate following in this area.

I’m particularly proud of The Butterfly Wheel which deals with some tricky issues in what I hope is a compassionate way, while delivering a compelling story – and a spooky, satisfying villain.

Now I’m writing a police series which is also a bit different in that my hero is a policeman who is prone to working outside the usual channels. The first book, set in Cheltenham, deals with sex trafficking: one of the plagues of modern times. Working undercover on his first case, Thomas Hurley is not entirely sure he’s best equipped to solve an underworld gang murder and bring the villains to justice…


Sometimes wealth doesn’t insulate you against the shocks and surprises of life…
A businessman returns from an overseas trip to find his world has been turned upside down. Who is that woman claiming to be his wife? Who are the mysterious estate agents?

I was born and brought up in Hartlepool in the north-east of England and studied physics at Durham University. Following three years of research at Durham, during which time I was privileged to meet and work with some amazingly talented people at CERN in Geneva, I moved to south Manchester to work for the Central Electricity Generating Board in their Scientific Services Department. Happy days with wonderful friends and work colleagues, I played rugby, enjoyed the social life, started a family… but life always seems to have a twist waiting around the corner and change is inevitable.

When Maggie decided to privatise everything which she could lay her hands on, and to split up a perfectly functioning electricity supply industry, I was one of the lucky ones; I was offered a job in nuclear safety based in the beautiful county of Gloucestershire, where I still live today. I started writing crime fiction as a hobby many years ago and when I retired from work, this became a full-time occupation.

If you’d like to find out more about my forthcoming books, please accept my offer of a free short mystery, let me have your email address and I’ll keep you informed of progress.

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