The Property People Trilogy
First book of a new series
It is 1953. A bankrupt Britain is struggling to recover from the cost of the second world war, kept afloat by American loans. Some food is still rationed.
John Tucker is a member of the new, rising meritocracy. He loses his father, his place at Cambridge, his family home, and his prospects of academic advancement. He discovers Alison Stacey is the cause. Is he upset? Is he furious? You bet he is!
Alison is descended from an old aristocratic family and has a strong sense of social superiority. She believes in putting people like John Tucker in their place. However, when her luxurious life is threatened, she does not know how to cope. Who can she turn to solve the economic disaster which threatens to overwhelm her?
Sarah Grant is bored by her role as wife to a local professional businessman. She refuses to comply with the attempts by men to subjugate women. She is determined to use her recent legacy to bring richness into her life. Does this mean she will need to manipulate other people? Perhaps they have to be handled carefully.
These characters work out their ambitions and their problems against the backdrop of rural South Devon, where the population is just emerging from the period of post-war deprivation into the realisation of the benefits of home-ownership which is replacing the old practice of renting the houses that they live in from the owners of the large estates.
However, underlying their struggles is a mystery which goes back to before the Great War when a happy young couple set out to find a new life in America on board the Titanic.
The Languedoc Trilogy
The Secret of the Cathars
Philip Sinclair is bequeathed the unusual legacy of the journal of a long-dead Cathar parfait by his grandmother, together with the request to go to the chateau of Le Bezu in the French Pyrenees to search for the mysterious treasure of the Cathars.
There he meets famous French archaeologist Jacqueline Blontard who is carrying out researches for her next TV series. Together they start looking, unaware that they are being followed by representatives from the Catholic Church, a mysterious powerful body in Paris and a group of criminals from Marseilles.
Nobody can foresee what their search will unearth.
The Legacy of the Templars
This is the sequel to The Secret of the Cathars. Philip returns from a short visit to England to find that Jackie has disappeared. His searches for her lead him, despite considerable personal danger, to Paris and the fascinating little town of Rennes le Chateau, near Carcassonne.
He also inadvertently discovers the first clues about the remains left by the Templars when they were wiped out by King Philip II.
When Jackie appears again they follow the route started by Philip until they come across the sensational legacy left to the world by the Templars.
The Treasure of the Visigoths
In the third book of the Languedoc trilogy, tension has arisen between Philip and Jackie. She is in Paris concentrating all her time and energy on her new TV series. But if she has no time for him at present, there are two other women who, for their own reasons, are more than willing to take her place.
However both Philip and Jackie are in danger resulting from their recent discoveries and his excavation of the ruins is leading him to a discovery which may have been the source of the fantastic wealth of Bérenger Saunière.
Dancing with Spies
Caroline Daley is travelling down the Adriatic on a ferry which breaks down and has to limp into the port of Dubrovnik.
However the Yugoslav Civil War is in progress and the beautiful city is under siege from the Serb-led JNA. She becomes caught up in the seething web of violence and espionage among the ancient buildings. Her only hope of escape seems to be to put her trust the arrogant journalist, Ralph Henderson.
And are they all in danger? Surely the JNA won´t open fire on the World Heritage Site, will they?
The Mafia Emblem
Ben Cartwright is flying to Naples on a desperate mission. Sitting beside him is a glamorous American he doesn’t know, who introduces herself as Donna.
His last minute flight is the day after the murder of his Italian business partner and the threat he has received to take his business away from him.
Ahead of him, on his innocent rush to “sort things out”, are his partner´s sister (who hates him), a mafia vendetta between two related families and an evil, mythical figure – the Wolf of Hades.
Andrew Denbury owns a company called Gyroflow. He is summoned to his bank one morning and told they are calling in the overdraft on which his business runs. He must repay nearly two hundred thousand pounds within twenty-four hours. Because he has signed a debenture, he has given the bank the power to appoint a receiver if he does not instantly pay back the money.
The overdraft has been used to pay for materials, equipment and wages to produce hydraulic pumps which he is selling to customers who will take two or three months to honour the invoices he has rendered to them, so there is no hope of him having the cash to immediately settle the loan.
DCI Charlotte Faraday searches for a twelve-year-old girl who has gone missing. Is she the victim of a paedophile gang led by a rich local landowner?
The girl’s mother was raped earlier by a soldier who has escaped back to his regiment which is currently training in Germany. Meanwhile DI Stafford Paulson is convinced that the death of Joanne de Billiere is extremely suspicious.
They are not helped in their enquiries by creeping corruption in the Devon and Cornwall police force. However Charlotte and Stafford won’t allow this to prevent them from solving the latest crimes committed in the Torbay area.
The Discovery of Franco's Bankroll
When Sebastian Bishop turned into Calle Costera he immediately saw the two Guardia Civil cars parked outside his villa. That meant somebody had already told the police about his contact with the Condesa. They would be waiting to arrest him. When they found that his DNA matched that on and in her body, and on the sash of her dressing-gown that had been used to strangle her, they would undoubtedly charge him with her murder.
How had he got into this disastrous position in such a short time?
More importantly – how was he going to get out of it?
This was the beginning of a long and dangerous attempt to prove his innocence.It was also an adventure which was to lead him to finding one of the greatest treasures in the modern world.
The Eighth Child
Alan Brading witnesses the shooting of his French-born wife in a London street. The police seem to think it is a mistaken terrorist attack.
When he recovers from the mental problems caused by the shock, he travels to her home-town in the Loire Valley to try to find the murderer, whom he has seen there.
However the local people in Chalons are hostile to his enquiries. Only his wife’s younger sister, Jeanette, is willing to help him uncover what happened forty years ago. Together they risk their lives in their pursuit of the truth.
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I am Michael Hillier – Author.
I have enjoyed creative writing throughout the whole of my life – short stories, drama, non-fiction, even some poetry. However my favourite type of writing is the fiction novel. There I can create fascinating characters and place them in challenging situations that they have to fight to get out of.
I get the inspiration for many of my books from family holidays to various beautiful locations in the world. Exploring historic towns and buildings has brought to light a host of untold stories and gets my creative juices flowing.
I have completed twelve novels to date and there are several others which are partly written. Eight of the novels have been published and are for sale on various sites, including Amazon, Apple, Barnes and Noble (Nook), Kobo and Tolino. The most popular novel to date is The Secret of the Cathars which has sold substantially more than ten thousand copies.
I have split my novels into three groups – detective novels, a three-volume historical saga, and the Adventure/Mystery/ Romance series. This latter is explained in detail later in the website and it is the one I will be concentrating on more than the others in the next few months.
I have recently moved back to the UK from Spain after living there for fourteen years. I was born in Hampshire but lived most of my formative years in South Devon before moving up-country to further my career. I qualified as a Chartered Builder, setting up and running three businesses before retiring.
What is the Adventure, Mystery, Romance Series of novels?
When I was much younger there were a number of famous authors whose books I loved to read. I used to anxiously scan the book shops (of which there were a lot more in those days) for news that each of their latest books had just been published so that I could get them at the earliest opportunity. There were quite a few of them, but my favourites among these authors were:-
Their novels often took the reader to faraway places. The hero or heroine was usually a fairly normal everyday person trying to lead a normal life and earn enough money to keep their head above water. They weren´t the impossible James Bond type of person who would naturally beat everyone else who they came up against. And usually there was a potential amorous partner there with whom they would walk happily off into the sunset with when they had triumphed over the bad guys.
This may sound boring but the authors managed to bring enough variety into the settings, the different conditions, the complexity of the plots and the interest in the characters to make each read a pleasure. Of course some of the books were better than others and some you wouldn´t choose to read again. But generally you got enough enjoyment from the read to remain faithful to the writer and want to try his next publication.
Nowadays it seems to me that all the interest is in series where the same main character confronts a number of different obstacles and wins out in each book. I am not denigrating this kind of authorship. I´m sure many of the books are very well written and deserve to be successes. But, to my mind, they do not have the same variety of characters or the satisfying conclusion to the story which I like to read about. I also feel the suspension of belief in the reader is more difficult in those series.
So what I am attempting to do is to return to the type of novels which Hammond Innes and Desmond Bagley and the others wrote, although of course with a more modern twist. The plots are set in more modern conflicts. The characters are (I hope) more up to date. The romance element is more descriptive. And I try to make the conclusions less foreseeable – although I accept that I will not succeed with all readers.
That is why, to satisfy the modern requirement for books to be grouped in a series, I have decided to create the Adventure, Mystery, Romance (AMR) Series although the same main characters do not usually appear in all the books (an exception is The Secret of the Cathars and The Templar Legacy) and the plots vary greatly.