What’s On: Australian adventure awaits a young Dagenham man in a new book

PUBLISHED: 17:26 23 July 2013 | UPDATED: 17:26 23 July 2013

New book Ten Pounds Return

New book Ten Pounds Return


Antipodean adventure awaits a young man who travels to Australia and learns the secret arts of the Aborigine culture, in a new book.

First-time author Richard Douglas, born and raised in Dagenham much like the lead character in his book Ten Pounds Return, has spent close to 40 years living on-and-off in the southern hemisphere.

His knowledge of the cultures to be found “down-under” has seen him create an action adventure story with an East End twist.

Central character Harry Burns has spent his early years on the Becontree Estate, Dagenham, but decides to leave his life behind and emigrate to Australia.

There he makes a friend in Aboriginal bushmaster Charlie Pindari, but a fateful hunting trip sees Harry kill another man and landed in a notorious Brisbane prison for 15 years.

In jail he meets a tribal elder who teaches him the ways of the secret Aboriginal art of Dreamtime, which Harry uses to clean up the streets of Dagenham from drug dealers on his return.

“Harry is a nice guy and all these people keep putting on him,” said Richard, who hints at the book’s violent ending.

“Dreamtime,” he explained, “Is the aboriginal story of creation.

“They claim that these beings – like snakes and devils — created the Earth and then disappeared leaving the secrets of it with Aboriginal people.

“In Dreamtime, they have a thing where they point a bone at someone to kill them.”

Having worked in construction most of his life, Richard confessed he “wasn’t what you would call highly literate,” but added he had a “knack for storytelling” and a compulsion to keep writing.

This compulsion even saw him carry on after open heart surgery, which delayed him for a year during the writing of his book, and saw him take a total of two years to complete it.

“I always thought I had it in me to write a story,” said the 69-year-old, who is now penning a second novel, a comedy, with the same characters.

Copies of Ten Pounds Return are available on or can be ordered by contacting the author at to arrange postal delivery.

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