Guest Author Tony Riches


Today our guest is Tony Riches author of yesterday’s book “The Shell”, here is a link to the post if you missed it.

Tony Riches

Let’s find out more about Tony.

Author interview with Tony Riches:


1) Where is your home town?

I live in the by the coast in Pembrokeshire, rural West Wales, UK.

2) How long have you been writing?

I started writing for a wide range of magazines in my twenties, then had my first successful non-fiction book, which became an Amazon best-seller.

3) What was the one idea behind the writing of “The Shell”?

My wife and I found ourselves in a very dangerous situation, alone on a remote beach while on holiday in Mombasa. On the flight home I started thinking about what could have happened and decided it would make a great story.

4) What safety precautions did Lucy and Steve ignore whilst on holiday?

Like we did, my fictional couple were blissfully unaware of the dangers – until it was too late. We were told to ask for an escort at all times, and not to go exploring the beach away from the hotel.

5) What is a dhow?

A dhow is a primitive but effective wooden sailing boat with a distinctive triangular sail used by the local people to fish along the coast of the Indian Ocean. They are a common sight on holiday in Mombasa.

6) Who was Lucy kidnapped by and why?

My heroine Lucy was kidnapped by members of one of the many armed gangs roaming the coast of northern Kenya, particularly close to the border with Somalia. It was ‘opportunistic’ as they saw a chance to make a fortune from holding her for ransom.

7) Where were the kidnappers taking Lucy?

The region to the north east of Kenya is very hard to police, with vast expanses of desert and jungle which offered good hiding places. The kidnappers were taking her to one of their remote camps, where she could be held indefinitely.

8) What was the importance of keeping the kidnapping low profile and the media reporting controlled?

The value of the tourist industry to Kenya is immense, so the authorities prefer to keep any incidents low profile while they can. The British Consulate also has a policy of not supporting paying of ransoms to kidnappers, so this is sometimes done in secret.

9) You set aside your book when you first wrote it, why?

While I was writing The Shell another couple were attacked on the beach. The wife was kidnapped for ransom and sadly the husband was murdered trying to save her. I was more than half way through writing the novel and didn’t want anyone to think I was exploiting their misfortune, so I put it on hold. (A ransom was eventually paid to the kidnappers and the woman was safely returned.)

10) Where can readers find out more about you and your books?

More information about The Shell and my other books can be found here:   I also have a blog, The Writing Desk at and am on Goodreads:


The Shell Video Trailer:

Tony Riches is a full time writer and lives with his wife in Pembrokeshire, one of the most unspoilt areas of the UK. His first novel, Queen Sacrifice was written after looking into the early history of Wales and seeing the parallels to a game of chess, with kings and queens, bishops and castles – and the people becoming pawns in their civil wars. When not writing Tony enjoys sea and river kayaking. He also enjoys hiking and plans to complete the full 186 miles of the Pembrokeshire Coast path which passes fifty-eight beautiful beaches and fourteen harbours. You can find him on Twitter @tonyriches and his new Facebook Author Page

The Shell





Find a copy of the book here from or


Thank you Tony, your book is a stark warning to all tourists.

The Shell by Tony Riches

The ShellThe Shell by Tony Riches

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Firstly the book cover is very striking, the eye looking deeply out at you, connects to the book in several places. You never know just who is watching you. This story is about the kidnapping of Lucy a British tourist on holiday in Mombasa, Kenya with her husband Steve. They ignore the safety warnings about not leaving the hotel beach and sadly are the victims of desperate people who see rich westerners as an easy money source.

Although the British Government policy is not to pay ransoms, I’m sure any family who have a member kidnapped will do anything to get them safely back. This book resonates with many actual kidnapping cases in war-torn and dangerous parts of the world.

Lucy is taken first by boat and then lorry towards to border with Somalia. It is believed she is taken by rebels sympathetic to the local Pokomo tribes. The Pokomo are a settled agricultural people who constantly fight over land and water with the nomadic cattle-herding Orma peoples. Mixed with this the political unrest caused by enforced borders and there is a ticking time-bomb in the whole area.

Lucy’s husband was knocked unconscious in the kidnap attack and wakes on the beach to find Lucy gone. With the help of the hotel staff, the local police and the British Consulate the search for Lucy begins. Lucy is taken on a frightening journey and must rely on her inner strength and common sense to make the most of every opportunity that presents itself to her.

The main kidnapping story is supported by a lot of back story in the form of day dreams, memories and dreams from both Steve and Lucy. I did enjoy reading about the tribal conflicts and how the peoples of Kenya lived and dealt with everyday incidents. So much of the real people’s lives are lost in news reports which focus on the violence and horror. Tourism brings much money to poor countries but it also brings new problems which affect the balance of nature and those who live a simpler life.

View all my reviews on Goodreads

Find a copy of the book here from or

Tony will join us tomorrow on the blog as our guest author do come back and find out more about him and his writing.