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The Secret to Being Frank Evil Beyond InsanityThe Secret to Being Frank Evil Beyond Insanity

Joe Leslie

  • Mystery/Thriller
  • Provocative Prose

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Why I wrote this book

What makes a serial killer tick where does that urge to destroy come from, who are they? And what about the police are they really the good guys in a suit who start their lives at thirty something on page twenty eight in a popular novel?

After forty years in the police force, I had a passion to write, I also had to find something to replace the adrenalin pumping through my veins for all those years. The book is different because it answers the question why, it also has that rare quality of reality mixed with the unexplainable. Usually a writer answers the question what is it like to be someone else; additionally ‘The Secret to Being Frank’ divulges a great deal about yours truly. I rejected the safe way of writing about my experience of fear; readers with exceptional sensibility who take on this novel demand an honest, candid and uncompromising dialogue, they also demand respect. The terror is in my writing, the experience gained, perhaps a more acute understanding of this insane world. There is only one question left, were you able to recognise the difference between fact from fiction.


Definitely dark, mean and thought-provoking, The Secret to Being Frank has that extra middle finger of Hannibal Lector right on the pulse of the reader's guilty pleasure. This rollercoaster of a novel has ignored all the ground rules as it careers down the track towards the evil beyond insanity. In-depth character profiling enables the reader to enter the dark tunnel of the psychotic brain and believe. Authentic and nerve-fraying writing graphically depicts dark, harrowing scenes and spine-chilling moments. The scream machine is launched into mid-air in Wales during the middle of the 20th century, when an inexperienced, belligerent detective Frank Macleod encounters Samuel John, a mission-orientated serial killer. Even with the hereditary gift of damashealladh, second sight, Macleod, headstrong, unorthodox and carrying his own psychological baggage, appears totally out of his depth against John. Can he stop this death drive and prevent the body count from spiralling out of control? Will he take up the challenge, and can he control his relentless sexual appetite? Look out for the banked curve, the unusual death-defying twists and conflict in the plot. Hold onto your sanity or you could be the next victim. The Secret to Being Frank has been inspired by novels that balance a fine line between a psychological thriller and a horror, including those by Jo Nesbo, SJ Bolton and Karin Fossum.

About the Author

Joe Leslie In 1966, at 23, the long arm of the law liberated the writer from industrial hardship inherent in the Gwent Valley. His forty four years’ police service to Inspector rank and then support staff could be considered a record. The diversity of the author’s experience included; - Training recruits and officers to the rank of Inspector, the Toxteth riots, double homicides; and the IRA burying arms and explosives on the shoreline of his rural patch. In later years, with the Criminal Justice Unit, he worked closely with the local Crown Prosecution Service to deliver the DPP Guidelines on Statuary Charging. Locally he was also the project manager who introduced a new business system in Magistrates’ Courts. The author lives in the heart of Celtic Mythology in Carmarthen, the birth place of Merlin the Magician.

Book info

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352 pages


Joe Leslie


Matador an imprint of Troubador Publishing

Publication date

10th October 2013