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27th November 2018 Nicola Graham-Simms

Tony Bassett’s new book ‘Smile of the Stowaway

Tony Bassett broke the story of a family who found a refugee clinging to the bottom of their hired motorhome after they had driven back from Calais to the UK.

Peter Cole dropped the motorhome back with the rental company when the extra load was discovered.

The family reported the stowaway to border control and that was they last they saw of the refugee.

Tony, from Bexley, sold this story to the national papers, but it sparked an idea.

Tony said: “What if the family had taken the refugee in and not reported him?

It’s illegal to do this, but there must be some incidents out there where this happened.”

From this idea he wrote The Smile of the Stowaway, published by Conrad press.

The 68-year-old said: “The family takes the refugee in. Everything seems to be alright, then the stowaway is accused of murder in the village.

“I thought it would bring forward some of the big issues that the country is coming to terms with at the moment.

“It’s a risky subject and I don’t want Nigel Farage coming to knock down my door.

I think it is an important subject though.”

The novel will be published on December 1 and is available to order on www.theconradpress.com

News Shopper (SE London), November 26; thisislocallondon.co.uk November 26.Conor Shields

Bexley author Tony Bassett's first crime novel to be released

A former journalist has swapped fact for fiction as he launches his first book.

Tony Bassett, from Bexley, North Kent, is releasing his new book, Smile Of The Stowaway, in December and it is the first of four crime novels written by the author to be published.

Readers can follow the story of a young stowaway migrant from Eritrea named Yusuf who arrives in Canterbury illegally and is taken in by charitable couple, Bob and Anne.

After a treacherous journey to reach the UK, Yusuf finally believes he's found his feet when he finds work at a fruit farm, making friends with other immigrants who are working there also.

However, things take a drastic turn when one of the senior farm workers, and Englishman, named Lucas is found murdered in a cottage and police are quick to suspect Yusuf based on a prior disagreement the pair had.

Bob and Anne must then face the prejudice of the public as they help Yusuf fight his case in court and prove his innocence.

Mr Bassett explained he had wanted to write novels for years but wanted to wait until he was more financially stable before starting any long-term project.

"I thought it would be a bit precarious to write novels. But now that I'm retired and have my pension, I have nothing to stop me," he said.

After originally starting out in local news as a reporter in his youth, Mr Bassett worked as a freelance investigative journalist for a number of national newspapers such as The Sun and the Sunday People before retiring in 2015.

Since then, he has spent his free time writing murder mysteries with the hope of becoming a published crime novelist.

Finding a publisher for any book can be difficult for first-time authors, something which Mr Bassett found out the hard way before he was eventually picked up by his current publisher.

"It’s very difficult to get a publisher. I contacted four publishers, to which three of them rejected me.

"However when I submitted it into the Canterbury Literary Agency, it was the owner James Essinger, who owns his own publishing company, who took an interest in my story," he said.

Smile Of The Stowaway will released on December 1 via Conrad Press.

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