Graham Hurley is a British crime fiction novelist. He is best known for creating the character of DI Joe Faraday following several standalone novels. Hurley is also the author of the critically acclaimed series of DC Paul Winter.
A Clacton-on-Sea native, born amidst the chaos of post-war England in November 1946, grew up with a seaside childhood filled with football, swimming, dodgems, and more than a few scrapes with the local police. But above all, Graham loves post-war English cinema classics like The Dam Busters, Ice Cold in Alex, The Wooden Horse, The Cockleshell Heroes, and Reach For The Sky.
After winning a scholarship to a prestigious London boarding school and studying English at Cambridge University, he volunteered for the Six-Day War, driven by his love for those films that had filled his childhood. Emerging three years later with five unpublished manuscripts, he dreamed of becoming a full-time novelist. But rejection slips forced him to rethink his career.
Graham Hurley became a promotion script-writer with Southern Television, then a researcher, then a director, making ITV documentaries for the next two decades.
His work included filming the seabed wrecks of the Titanic and the Bismarck with American oceanographer Bob Ballard; profiling the Brighton Bomber; and producing ITV’s account of Richard Branson’s near-fatal attempt to cross the Atlantic by balloon.
Finally, an ITV commission for a 6-part drama series called Rules of Engagement was backed by a two-book contract with Pan-Macmillan. Two more novels, both dubbed "international thrillers," followed. He was sacked after Television South lost the ITV franchise and embarked on a new career as a full-time novelist.
In all, he penned seven "international thrillers" for Pan-Mac before joining Orion and delivering two more. Then, he swerved into crime fiction and produced a dozen books featuring fictional cops DI Joe Faraday and DC Paul Winter, who pursued very separate agendas in the darker corners of Portsmouth.
The series was successful and had good sales abroad. The French adapted it into a feature-length film for broadcast on France-2. Theakston’s Crime Prize shortlisted two books in the series, and Orion agreed to a spin-off series featuring young D/S Jimmy Suttle, all set in East Devon.
After sixteen years in the crime-fiction gulag, desperate for a new challenge, he found himself in northwest Spain, living out of the back of his aging camper van. A chance encounter in a Galician fishing village prompted a WW2 novel. Finisterre (2016) became the first in a series of WW2 novels called The Spoils of War, each book loosely interlinked by recurring characters, both fictional and real.
Finisterre was shortlisted for the Wilbur Smith Adventure Writing Prize, and four more novels followed, with a couple still to be published. The last book in the series was Kyiv (2021).
In the meantime, Hurley launched a series of contemporary thrillers published by Severn House. Narrated in the first person by Anglo-Breton actress Enora Andressen, they offered an unusual marriage of complex family saga and issue-driven entanglements.
The launch title was Curtain Call (2019). Then four more books came out in the Enora Andressen series: Sight Unseen (2019), Off Script (2020), Limelight (2020), and Intermission (2021).
Graham Hurley lives in Devon.
Photo credit: www.grahamhurley.co.uk