Press Release | R J Mitchell's ‘Thoroughgood’ Series Returns With 'The Hammer'


Prolific police procedural series swaps Glasgow for Manchester in the second ‘Thoroughgood’ prequel.

To be published in ‘late 2022’ by Matthew James Publishing.



Matthew James Publishing is pleased to announce ‘The Hammer’ — a new chapter in the ‘Thoroughgood’ series of Scottish police procedurals from acclaimed author RJ Mitchell will be released in ‘late 2022’. Rights to the book were acquired directly from the author by James Shaw, Publisher at Matthew James Publishing. Matthew James and Mitchell continue their successful working relationship; one that saw ‘The Blood Acre’ become the publisher’s best-selling book in 2019.

‘The Hammer’ is a follow-up to ‘The Blood Acre’ and sees a much younger Thoroughgood travel to Manchester to disrupt the city’s drug trade. What he finds is a city divided, with rival gangs controlling the flow of drugs into the streets.

“We’re excited to be working with R J Mitchell on another chapter in the Thoroughgood story,” says Publisher James Shaw. “His experience as a police officer really shows in his work, although he’s not afraid to go all out action either… ‘The Hammer’ had me gripped until the very end”.

Matthew James Publishing built on its working relationship with Mitchell through the pandemic, acquiring the rights to the first three titles in the ‘Thoroughgood’ series — ‘Parallel Lines’, ‘The Hurting’, and ‘The Longest Shadow’ — and once again making the books available in paperback and eBook in 2020.

"The inspiration for The Hammer comes from a story that reached my ears regarding a drugs deal that went badly wrong down South involving some interesting gentlemen from Glasgow,” says R J Mitchell. “Manchester, with its rich football heritage, is very similar in many ways to Glasgow and I just felt this would be a fantastic way for Thoroughgood to be taken out of his comfort zone in every sense and also to explore and utlise some of the unique locations which Manchester is so rich in.”


About the Book

‘The Hammer’ takes Thoroughgood out of the character’s typical Scottish stomping grounds, with 1990s Manchester becoming the perfect backdrop for Mitchell’s brand of gritty, high-octane crime writing. 

After escaping the clutches of a Glasgow drug lord nicknamed ‘The Widowmaker’, the newly promoted Detective Constable Thoroughgood heads for Manchester. The Northern Powerhouse is home to two rival gangs: ‘The Maine Men’ and ‘The Devils’ — their allegiances formed from their respective football affiliations. When a drug deal goes wrong and Thoroughgood fails to stop it, a full-scale turf war is ready to take over Manchester — a city split into red and blue halves.

Seconded into an undercover Greater Manchester Police unit under the command of the legendary DCI Marty Ferguson, an exiled Glasgow cop with a Messianic presence, Thoroughgood soon finds that the drugs war is not the only battle being fought in the city as Ferguson’s control over his unit is being fatally undermined from within.

As Ferguson is being framed for corruption and Thoroughgood is torn between his obsession to do his duty and his increasingly strong feelings for a woman who he discovers has been playing a lethal part in the feud, ‘The Hammer’ concludes in a breath-taking climax — a nightmare at the Theatre of Dreams.

A former Glasgow police officer, RJ Mitchell uses his experience to his advantage to create police dramas that are action-packed thrillers whilst retaining a faithful depiction of life on the force. 

‘The Hammer’ will release in paperback and eBook in ‘late 2022’. For those looking for a preview of the new book, RJ Mitchell is releasing a sample containing the book’s first three chapters. This will be available for free at the author’s WHSmith signing dates in May 2022.


About the Author

Robert James 'RJ' Mitchell is an acclaimed crime fiction novelist from Stirling, Scotland. His DS Thoroughgood series of books have earned the author many plaudits, and two nominations for the prestigious People's Book Prize (2017, 2019). Mitchell draws on his experiences as a Glasgow cop throughout his work, and still cherishes his first police shoulder number — D325.


About Matthew James Publishing

Matthew James Publishing Ltd is a small independent publisher based in Greater Manchester. Established in 1993 from a family house in Essex, the publisher has produced everything from national projects for school and education to mainstream fiction with the motto ‘Publishing with Ideals’ guiding everything it does