Michael Leese

Author of the Jonathan Roper Investigative series

Reviews

  • Enjoyed reading. Interesting characters and plot. Fast paced with twists and turns to keep me engaged. Looking forward to the next book.
  • An excellent read! An exciting, edge-of-your-seat plot line with well-defined and endearing characters. I plan to read everything in this series!
  • Mystery at every turn, kept me guessing what the next move is.
  • I sooooo enjoyed reading...!! Hard to put down - the characters were so well done and the storyline keeps you gripped. I look forward to Michael Leese's other books. Thank you!
  • Was surprised to learn this was a debut novel from this very talented author. Loved the autistic detective who may serve as inspiration to others. Read in one setting. Great book.
  • Very interesting, different, couldn't stop reading.
  • Completely different detectives, for a change! I've already downloaded the second book - and I'm looking forward to the third. A real change of pace from the average detective story, and very satisfying all around.
  • Excellent book! Spent my entire day reading because I couldn't put it down.
  • Book sounded interesting and I am glad I tried a new author. Very easy to get involved with story and great characters. Look forward to next book in series.
  • Good read with a different type of hero. Enjoyable if you’re in to a modern-day Sherlock Holmes with just a slightly autistic twist.
  • Mysterious murders and a very special detective is on the case. Thoroughly enjoyed this book, it's one I'll reread...after I read the next book in the series!
  • A very intriguing book. Of course, the autism aspect makes it even more interesting, but, all in all, a very well written mystery. I shall be searching for the next one.
  • Wow if this is the first effort. I sure want to read everything he writes. Just my kind of book.
  • Loved Roper. An unexpected hero of the hour. Keep up the good work.
  • Great read. Fast paced and really makes you think. Lots of twists and turns.
  • I thoroughly enjoyed this book. I couldn't put it down please keep our new detective busy. I need more to read.
  • A well-written book with interesting and believable characters.
  • Very enjoyable book. Great story, wonderful characters. Very well done. I can't wait to read more!
  • This is a great read. The relationship between the main characters is very interesting. The book is fast paced with lots of twists and turns.
  • Very good story, gave me a better understanding of autism. It also kept me guessing until the end.
  • Very compelling characters, I look forward to meeting them again.

The Jonathan Roper series

Going Underground book cover

Book One // Going Underground

A spate of murders, deranged scientists and heavily armed mercenaries - little wonder there’s a state of panic at Scotland Yard.

Chief Inspector Brian Hooley has a plan and it won’t make him popular. He wants to bring back autistic detective Jonathan Roper.

Currently suspended on misconduct charges, his condition, coupled with a relentless work-ethic, makes him a unique investigator with observational skills that allow him to see what others miss. But he is also a complex man who doesn’t get social boundaries and plenty of his colleagues just don’t like him.

Hooley doesn’t care about that. He knows Roper is the one to make a difference.

What follows is a roller coaster ride with the veteran cop about to find out what it’s like to be the subject of Roper’s unflinching gaze as his personal habits face intense scrutiny. This special relationship is warmly observed and provides a comic contrast to a darkly compelling story where the pair are pushed to the limit.

I Can See You book cover

Book Two // I Can See You

It was an idea that was full of hope. But it turned into a nightmare. And now a serial killer wants to test himself against one of Scotland Yard’s most unique investigators.

Jonathan Roper is a key player in the elite Special Investigations Unit. His autism, and a relentless drive, has given him an extraordinary range of skills which make him a formidable detective.

His reputation has grown to the point where he has been invited to join the digital fight against terror - but that’s not working out as it means losing contact with his boss, Chief Inspector Brian Hooley. The pair formed a powerful bond while bringing down a gang of ruthless mercenaries running riot in London.

Now events are throwing them back together and soon they realise that this new investigation is completely personal. The enemy has them in his sights and wants to kill.

Despite the very real tensions Roper can’t resist once again turning his critical eye on the long- suffering Hooley. Rarely can one man have come under so much pressure for his lifestyle choices.

Their special relationship provides a stream of genuine humour at the heart of what is a dark, psychological thriller.

The Long Reach book cover

Book Three // The Long Reach

No one would be crazy enough to detonate a nuclear device in London. Would they? We live in a dangerous world where people will do anything for money.

Scotland Yard’s most unique investigator, Jonathan Roper, is called in amid fears that Russian agents are behind a plot to explode a dirty bomb in the UK capital.

Roper and his boss, Chief Inspector Brian Hooley, are briefed on the nightmare scenario by MI5. Everyone from the Prime Minister down is hoping he can repeat the extraordinary work which saw him take down a gang of mercenaries and a serial killer with a grudge.

Because of his condition, and his single-minded determination, he has developed a range of skills that make him a great detective. So far it has set him apart from the people he has brought to justice. But this time he and Hooley are up against a formidable conspiracy that can be traced back to the worst days of the Cold War.

If you like Sherlock, the Mentalist, Elementary or David Baldacci’s Amos Decker, you will adore The Long Reach and Jonathan Roper.

Just Kill Them book cover

Book Four // Just Kill Them

The assault came without warning. Three terror attacks that sent shock waves through London, triggering plans to evacuate the Royal Family.

Police, politicians and the security services are left scrabbling for answers. When a previously unknown group claims responsibility the mystery deepens.

This is the dramatic back drop to the most challenging investigation yet undertaken by autistic crime solver, Jonathan Roper, and his mentor and friend, Chief Inspector Brian Hooley. Before long they are sucked into the case and are about to discover they will face challenges that will test them to the limit.

To have any chance of success they are going to need every ounce of Hooley’s policing know-how… but above all they will need Roper at his brilliant best. The veteran DCI has to ride some intense personal observations as he helps the younger man stay on track.

It is this "special relationship" that makes the Roper series stand out. It provides unexpected warmth and genuine humour at even the darkest moments. But this time it emerges that fate has a few nasty surprises in store for Brian Hooley. Not only does he need to support Roper, his own health will become an issue that sets the clock ticking.

The investigation also sees the introduction of a new team of investigators who, like Roper, have been on the fringes but now have an important role to play.

Just Kill Them is a dark, page turning thriller that will grab you grabs you by the throat from the beginning, Just don’t be surprised to find yourself laughing out loud.

To Kill A Critic book cover

A short story // To Kill A Critic

It’s a mystery that even the world’s most notorious critic would enjoy. There’s only one problem, he’s the victim and there are more suspects than could fit into the most intricate whodunnit?

When Robert Randall is found horribly murdered in his London penthouse the world of showbiz heaved a sigh of relief. The acid tongued critic was dubbed “the Slayer” for his take-no-prisoners approach and his fame was such that a disapproving review could shut a production down. As Jonathan Roper, Scotland Yard’s most unique investigator, is about to discover he had an awful lot of enemies. Together with his boss Chief Inspector Brian Hooley, the autistic detective has his work cut out.

The Slayer’s fame is world wide and everything is being carried out under the unwelcome glare of global coverage. Despite the intensity Roper still finds time to hand the long-suffering Hooley his brutally frank personal comments on his life-style choices. Their special relationship provides a warm and funny counterpoint to a hard-boiled mystery.

About the Author

Michael Leese profile picture

Michael Leese was a senior news executive who had a ringside seat for the most extra-ordinary stories that happened during a twenty-five-year career as a British national newspaper journalist.

From the death of Princess Diana and two Gulf wars to the fall of the Berlin Wall and 9/11 he was leading the teams bringing the first news to a wider public. Most of his career was spent at the London Evening Standard. His time in journalism has left him with an indelible passion for news and current affairs and he tries to replicate that in his crime thriller series, Jonathan Roper investigates.

His son is profoundly autistic. It was thinking about him and how he fits into this complicated world was the inspiration for the Roper character. Who is highly intelligent, passionate, hard-working and autistic which can make him a bit hazy about social boundaries.

Leese reasoned that Roper gave him a great way to challenge perceptions, but also show some of the humour that can arise from the inevitable misunderstandings when someone on the autistic spectrum hits the world at full steam.

Away from being a writer Leese is an unpaid, volunteer governor with the charity Autism Wessex.

He was brought up in the West Midlands and can reveal a major celebrity connection, both he and Prince Williams are Aston Villa fans, although they have never met or discussed their personal affinity.

Growing up he had an ambition to be an elite athlete but gave that up by the age of nine on the grounds of having no talent. He often speculates that it is just as well as he enjoys creating characters for his books and probably wouldn’t have survived long in the corporate world.

He lives in Dorset with his wife Maria.

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