FOR author Saul David writing fictional characters give him a freedom which he would not get from historical novels.

This third novel in the Zulu Hart series called The Prince and the Whitechapel Murders which is published by Hodder & Stoughton.

Somerset County Gazette:

This new book is set in London 1888 and is about George ‘Zulu’ Hart is the mixed-race illegitimate son of a Dublin actress and (he suspects) the Duke of Cambridge.

Hart is a gambler, short of money and in no position to turn down the job of ‘minder’ to Prince Albert Victor, second in line to the throne.

Both outsiders in their different ways, when a series of horrible murders begins in Whitechapel, on just the nights the Prince has been there, George is drawn into an investigation which forces him to confront the unthinkable...

Speaking about this latest book, Saul said: “Crime novels have a large follow.

"Why does a crime novel work? It works as there is jeopardy but there is also a resolution.

"The Ripper murders have not been solved but there is still the sheer horrors of the murders which took part in a gruesome part of London in the C19th century.

"My day job is as an historian but non-fiction gives you the chance to place fictional characters in a real time and place.

"My editor once told me in order to write good fiction you have to forget history.

"What the writing needs to be is authentic and it should be a descent story.

It is real privilege to write fiction and my non-fiction has improved.

I enjoyed creating George ‘Zulu’ Hart but what I have done is let him see the 19th century with a 21st century pair of eyes.”

Saul always wanted to be a writer and has no regrets about following this path. He felt the best decision you ever make are the ones when you do not have an option.

Catch up with Saul David as he talks about his new book at Brendon Books on Friday, March 23, at 6.30pm.

Further info and bookings: 01823 337742 brendonbooks@ brendonbooks