AN underwater mine disposal officer is coming to Sunderland to tell tales of his latest work.
Now a prolific author, Paul Henke will be at Waterstones in The Bridges all day on Friday, signing copies of his books.
A Million Tears, about the Griffiths family from South Wales escaping to America after a mining accident and murder in 1890, is now in its fifth reprint.
The sequels, The Tears of War and Peace, covering the time of the suffragettes and the First World War, and Silent Tears, taking the family up to the beginning of the Second World War, have both been reprinted.
Thanks to a demanding life as a mine and bomb disposal diving officer in the Royal Navy, Paul has also written knowledgeable thrillers, dealing with international terrorism and organised crime.
His twelfth and latest novel, Corruption, is currently available as an e-book, which covers alleged malpractice in the European Parliament and across the EU.
Paul said: “When I investigated the situation, even though I’m a dyed-in-the-wool cynic, I was astonished, angry and disgusted at what I discovered.
“There are some excellent books written on the subject and the more I delved into the facts, the angrier I became.”
He added: “One advantage I have is that I can give everyone, me included, a happy ending.
“The bad guys get bad deaths, and needless to say, the hero gets the girl. A perfect ending.
“Pity life isn’t like that.”
Born and raised in the mining valleys of South Wales, Paul’s father was a Polish immigrant who came to the UK during the Second World War.
Paul was educated at Pontypridd Boys’ Grammar and from an early age had a burning desire to be a Royal Naval officer.
During his “James Bond” style career he trained at Dartmouth Royal Naval College and later qualified as a bomb and mine disposal expert, specialising in diving and handling explosives. He led a crack team of underwater bomb disposal specialists and also became the Commanding Officer of various minesweeping and minehunting ships.
He survived a machine gun attack by IRA gun runners in Ireland in 1976.
Using plastic explosives he was responsible for blowing-up a number of Second World War mines found off the coast of Britain.
In the Royal Navy he worked with Prince Charles for a year.
He lived in Nigeria for fifteen months where he was in charge of a saturation diving system. He then moved to the American Midwest for the next year.
He has travelled extensively, researching material for his work and is now a full time writer. He had his name in lights when he was invited to do a book-signing on the the Las Vegas strip.