'Boom, bust', murder, and a body: It's the 'perfect' city

GLADSTONE is the perfect city in which to base a murder mystery story, according to two former Gladstone residents.

Chris Irons, 46, and Stephen McLoughlin, 45, are in the final drafting stages of the novel they have been working on for two years.

The pair, who grew up in Gladstone as childhood friends, decided to set the novel in the 1980s version of Gladstone with the working title: Deep Harbour.

CRIME FICTION: Former Gladstone residents Chris Irons and Stephen Mcloughlin are writing a book with the working title Deep harbour, it will be set in Gladstone in the 1980s.Photo Mike Richards / The Observer
CRIME FICTION: Former Gladstone residents Chris Irons and Stephen Mcloughlin are writing a book with the working title Deep harbour, it will be set in Gladstone in the 1980s.Photo Mike Richards / The Observer Mike Richards GLA140816BOOK

Without giving too much away, the pair said the novel would include a murder, a body and a mystery.

The main character is a new-to-town South African police officer assigned the case.

Mr Irons said with the manuscript finished, the pair was back visiting their home city over the weekend to "tie up some loose ends".

"The last time we were in Gladstone was about two years ago, and a lot has changed since then," he said.

"But we've come back to try and recapture the visual landscape of the town and visit some of the outer areas like Yarwun.

"Gladstone provides this perfect cycle for the novel, with the boom, bust; a town on the down looking for the next big thing."

CRIME FICTION: Former Gladstone residents Chris Irons and Stephen Mcloughlin are writing a book with the working title Deep harbour, it will be set in Gladstone in the 1980s.Photo Mike Richards / The Observer
CRIME FICTION: Former Gladstone residents Chris Irons and Stephen Mcloughlin are writing a book with the working title Deep harbour, it will be set in Gladstone in the 1980s.Photo Mike Richards / The Observer Mike Richards GLA140816BOOK

Over the weekend the pair visited many of the industrial sites, including QAL and the power station.

Mr Irons now lives and works in Brisbane as the Commissioner at Office of the Commissioner for Body Corporate and Community Management.

Mr McLoughlin lives and works in the United Kingdom as a lecturer in international relations.

"Both Chris and I have written the book, almost chapter for chapter," Mr McLoughlin said.

"We were worried that as a result it would be lacking continuity, and there would be gaps," he said.

"But after having it read over, we were told there was little to no difference at all between our writing styles; people couldn't tell there have been two authors."

The pair is looking at options for publishing, but said the novel needed fine tuning before publishing.

Mr Irons said: "While it's not definite, we are already coming up with ideas for a sequel, even a prequel.

"That's the great thing about Gladstone is that there's so much diversity in the people that live here," he said.

"It really is the perfect place for a crime fiction novel."


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