Nick Brownlee

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Nick Brownlee
Nick Brownlee.JPG
Born (1967-12-16) 16 December 1967 (age 47)
Blyth, Northumberland
Nationality English
Genre Crime fiction

Nick Brownlee is a British journalist and crime thriller writer.

His critically acclaimed debut novel, Bait, published in December 2008 by Piatkus, was the first in a series featuring Kenyan crimebusting duo Jake Moore and Detective Inspector Daniel Jouma. The second, Burn, was published in June 2009, and the third, Machete in July 2010. The fourth in the series, Snakepit, was published in 2011.


Brownlee was born in Blyth, Northumberland, and educated at the Royal Grammar School, Newcastle, and the University of Leeds.

After leaving university he joined the Newcastle Evening Chronicle as a reporter, and continued to work for local newspapers in the North-East for several years before moving to London to work as a feature writer for The People. In 2000 he became a freelance writer, contributing to national newspapers and magazines.He now lives in Cumbria with his wife, daughter and dog.

Non-Fiction Work[edit]

Brownlee's first book, a guide to Coronation Street, was published shortly after leaving The People. Since then he has written several non-fiction titles on subjects ranging from cannabis to manufactured pop music. His last book was a history of the Tour de France, entitled Vive Le Tour, published in 2007. This book is due to be reissued in May 2010 by Anova Books, with updated entries and foreword. He has also updated a book of World Cup football trivia, The Amazing World Cup Compendium, to coincide with the 2010 World Cup Finals.

The Jake & Jouma Series[edit]

In late 2007, Brownlee's manuscript for Bait was one of a handful selected for publication by Macmillan New Writing. However the same day he was also offered a contract by London-based literary agency Gregory & Company. Choosing to go with the latter, Bait was subsequently bought by Piatkus, an imprint of Little, Brown publishers, as part of a two-book deal featuring the characters Daniel Jouma and Jake Moore.

The novel was published in December 2008, and the sequel, Burn, in June 2009. Brownlee has since been commissioned to write two more Jake and Jouma novels for Piatkus. The third, Machete, will be published in July 2010.[dated info] A fourth, Snakepit, is currently being written.

In January 2009 Bait was reviewed on the Simon Mayo Book Panel on BBC Radio Five Live. Brownlee himself has appeared as a reviewer on the show on several occasions in 2009.

In April 2010, US magazine Booklist included the book in its list of Best Crime Novels of the Year.


The first book in the series introduces fastidious Mombasa-based detective Daniel Jouma and Jake Moore, a former member of the British Flying Squad who has fled to Kenya after a near-fatal shooting and now runs an ailing game fishing business. The two men are reluctantly brought together after a game boat skipper disappears, presumed killed, in an on-board explosion. Jouma's investigations, together with Moore's more robust legwork, uncover a sinister sex trafficking network based in east Africa, and allow Jouma to expose a deep well of institutional corruption within local government and police.


The sequel sees Jake and Jouma once again united, this time investigating the apparent suicide of a well-respected Irish ex-pat with links to a rapacious, Mombasa-based property development company. Meanwhile, a paid assassin, known only as The Ghost, has arrived in Kenya with orders to silence the surviving members of the trafficking network first seen in Bait - and to avenge the killing of its lead operative by Jake.


The third in the series sees Jouma investigating a series of murders committed by the so-called Headhunter, whose calling card is to leave the severed heads of his victims as gifts. Jake becomes involved in the hunt for the killer when his best friend, an old police colleague from England, arrives in Kenya and falls prey to the Headhunter.

Other Fiction[edit]

In April 2010, one of Brownlee's short stories, Withholding The Evidence, was included in an anthology entitled No Man & Other Stories To Help Haiti. The collection, which also features the work of Alexander McCall Smith and William Peter Blatty, is available exclusively in ebook form, with all profits going to Unicef to aid victims of the Haiti earthquake.


External links[edit]