NHS worker from Dagenham pens crime novel

PUBLISHED: 07:00 17 December 2018

Tracy Ryden. Picture: Tracy Ryden

Tracy Ryden. Picture: Tracy Ryden

Tracy Ryden

Murder and mistaken identity muddy the line between good and evil in an NHS worker’s debut novel.

Vengeance by Tracy Ryden. Picture: Tracy RydenVengeance by Tracy Ryden. Picture: Tracy Ryden

Tracy Ryden, 39, of Parsloes Avenue, Dagenham, spent two years writing crime fiction work Vengeance, a self-published book released last week.

Set in an unnamed London borough, it follows a family fractured after a young girl’s grisly death.

Blood and vigilante justice result when the father decides to find his daughter’s killer.

The gory details aren’t too far removed from Tracy’s day job in Guy’s and St Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust, where she works as a human resources advisor.

But, surprisingly, the idea for the novel arose closer to home.

“The idea came from my dad,” said Tracy.

“He’s got a really active imagination and is always coming out with ideas.”

Talking over plot twists and turns with her father, Andy Strain, she spent long commutes jotting down ideas with a pen and paper.

Writing wasn’t easy. Tracy had to balance her time between words counts, work and two young sons aged four and nine, respectively.

“I’m actually overwhelmed by the amount of support that I’ve got,” she said, describing positive reviews from friends as well as colleagues citing her work in their morning meeting.

“I feel quite humbled by it, really,” she added.

“People have been so kind and so supportive.”

Eagled-eyed readers may spot a reference to Tracy’s garage of choice, a real-life spot in Romford where her car underwent its last two MOTs.

Still basking in the glow of seeing her first novel in print – she gave a copy to her Zumba class instructor – she’s mulling over a possible sequel.

Asked on her plans for a follow-up, she explained: “A few people have said am I going to do that.

“I think I will but, to be honest with you, that one [her novel] is quite dark, so I’m thinking of doing a comedy next because I don’t want to go down the seedy underworld again.

“I want to do something a bit more cheerful. Something’s you can’t take life too seriously. You’ve got to have a bit of a sense of humour.”

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