Friday, 16 March 2012

Predisposed To Murder - Synopsis

Many thanks to those of you who have been in touch to say you enjoyed my novel, Catching up with Murder (Raider International, 2011). It is available from and as well as Barnes and Noble. Few bookstores in the UK will obtain it as the publishers do not work with the main English Book Suppliers. [Raider did not think it necessary to advise me of this fact.] I hope you will enjoy becoming reacquainted with Fred Winter and his long-suffering partner Carol Brady; other characters from the first novel also appear.

Predisposed to Murder is not available in print format, but I plan to upload it as an e-book later in the year. [I have become so disillusioned with literary agents and publishers that turn out to be vanity publishers that I’ll avoid them from now on...unless someone makes me an offer I can’t refuse,] Chapter 1 will appear on the blog on Friday April 6th and subsequent chapters on Mondays and Fridays as before.

PREDISPOSED TO MURDER: a novel in three acts by Roger Taber (Approx 100,000 words)


A complete novel, this is the second of a planned series of books featuring FRED WINTER and CAROL BRADY. It follows the same format as the first Winter novel in first setting the stage for Winter’s investigation and then taking the reader back into the past before resuming Winter’s task of solving a case that involves drugs, deception, obsession and murder.


Fred Winter, a retired police inspector, receives a visit from an old friend and one-time lover, Carol Brady and her friend ANNIE CUTLER. Annie is concerned about the disappearance of her son MAX. She blames his girlfriend, “that harlot” NINA FOX. Unconvinced there is a case to look into, Winter is eventually persuaded by Carol to investigate. Nina shows Winter some threatening letters which, it later transpires, were not written by Cutler, as Nina suspects; the most recent, however, carries blood stains that are a DNA match for Cutler. Less convinced now that he is looking at nothing more than the product of an over-protective mother’s imagination, Winter’s search for Cutler takes him to Whitstable in Kent. Here he stumbles on a body soon identified as a local drug pusher, Kate ‘Gypsy’ Fernandez. He also encounters hostility from local police colleagues who warn him against treading on sensitive toes.


The reader us taken some seven years to the time PIP SPARROW was eleven years-old and adopted by NATHAN SPARROW and his wife; it looks at her obsession with Nathan that borders on the psychopathic. Pip loses her adopted mother and young brother in a house fire survived only by her and Nathan. Pip takes on the task of keeping house for Nathan and looking after him while still managing to do well at school. Two years later, Nathan meets Nina Fox and becomes engaged to her. Pip tries to be happy for her father but is secretly devastated that someone else will take her place in his life. Then a close friend of Nina’s is stabbed to death at her flat. Nathan confesses to the crime and is subsequently found guilty of manslaughter but refuses to see Nina.


We return to the present day and Winter’s investigation. Nina disappears. Pip becomes frightened for her life and is subsequently discovered dazed and bleeding by a blazing caravan, apparently the victim of an attempted rape during which she kills her attacker. It seems like an open and shut case of self-defence. Winter begins to suspect otherwise. Could the complex relationships between Nina, Max and Pip conceal a motive for murder?  Things continue to look bad for Max Cutler until the final shocking dénouement. In addition to being the prime suspect for the murder of “Gypsy” Fernandez, he has been enjoying sex with all three women and is a suspected cocaine addict.

The novel sees Fred and Carol drawn into an unfolding drama of drugs, jealousy, obsession and murder. As if this wasn’t enough to put a strain on their relationship, the latter’s inability to accept that she is about to become a grandmother doesn’t help matters either.

Copyright Roger N. Taber 2012