The mystery of the female kidnapper...

'‹Steyning author Geoff Green has just brought out The Prisoner of Brenda Brown, published on Amazon in paperback and on Kindle.

Friday, 21st July 2017, 5:38 pm
Updated Thursday, 7th June 2018, 6:21 pm
Geoff Green
Geoff Green

Geoff explains: “Kidnapping is a serious crime: a hostage is taken, demands are made, cash expected, or in some cases, an exchange of prisoners. Kidnappers are usually men, but when Brenda Brown lures Melvyn Greenstone into a basement cell, the case baffles everyone. No demands are made and there are no obvious reasons for his incarceration.”

Geoff is the self-published writer of four books. His first, a true life crime novel, Paying for the Past, tells the story of a massive eccentric scam in the 1970s.

“The fraud caused a year-long search for the criminals (hidden away on a remote island by the author), made front-page headlines and was the subject of two television documentaries and two books. Resolution for the victims took ten years to pass through the courts.”

As Geoff explains: “I am an avid reader and enthusiastic writer. A famous author was often asked: ‘Where do you get your ideas?’ He pointed out that only someone who doesn’t write would ask that question. I have never been short of ideas. For a great deal of my adult life I’ve kept a journal of some sort. The content varies, from a single paragraph to a page, sometimes many pages, crammed with the day’s thoughts.

“During the 1960s my life was heading somewhere I never expected it to go: I was being drawn into an eccentric scam that was to change my life in the most dramatic way. My diaries came in handy, providing me with a record that might never have seen the light of day until I decided to turn my copious notes into a book. Following a course with the London School of Journalism, to brush up my writing skills, I published Paying for the Past, my true-life crime story, in 2014, decades after the event.

“A year later I published my first novel, The Sand Hide, about a woman escaping her abusive husband to work in the outposts of the Sahara desert. In 2016, came my second novel, Cold Friends, a dark tale of betrayal. Both books are based on true-life stories.

“My latest novel, The Prisoner of Brenda Brown, came from an idea I’d had following a recent article on Anthony Hope’s book, The Prisoner of Zenda. I’d always loved that title. It conjured up a swashbuckling world that guys love. More importantly it made me take another look at the 1952 film starring Stewart Granger, then the 1979 film, pitched as a comedy, with Peter Sellers. I liked the idea of serious issues being observed through dark humour. My mind was sidetracked. It occurred to me that very few books, or films, have been made about women kidnappers. I can only recall one that left an impression; Misery, about an author being captured by a fan and put through hell. I didn’t want my book to be that serious, but I did like the idea of the story being about a woman kidnapper! Will she/won’t she get caught?”

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