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Hiding the Past

(The Forensic Genealogist #1)


Peter Coldrick had no past; that was the conclusion drawn by years of personal and professional research. Then he employed the services of one Morton Farrier, Forensic Genealogist – a stubborn, determined man who uses whatever means necessary to uncover the past. With the Coldrick Case, Morton faces his toughest and most dangerous assignment yet, where all of his investigative and genealogical skills are put to the test. However, others are also interested in the Coldrick family, people who will stop at nothing, including murder, to hide the past. As Morton begins to unearth his client’s mysterious past, he is forced to confront his own family’s dark history, a history which he knows little about.


Opening pages

Click here to read the first few pages of Hiding the Past.



Flicking between the present and stories and extracts from the past, the pace never lets up in an excellent addition to this unique genre of literature

Your Family Tree magazine

At times amusing and shocking, this is a fast-moving modern crime mystery with genealogical twists. The blend of well fleshed-out characters, complete with flaws and foibles, will keep you guessing until the end

Family Tree magazine


Once I started reading Hiding the Past I had great difficulty putting it down - not only did I want to know what happened next, I actually cared


This is a must read for all genealogy buffs and anyone who loves a good mystery with a jaw dropping ending!

Baytown Genealogy Society

This is a good read and will appeal to anyone interested in family history. I can thoroughly recommend it

Cheshire Ancestor

Hiding the Past is a suspenseful, fast-paced mystery novel, in which the hero is drawn into an intrigue that spans from World War II to the present, with twists and turns along the way. The writing is smooth and the story keeps moving along so that I found it difficult to put down

The Archivist 



I began writing Hiding the Past in 2008 during my MA in Creative Writing course. Having researched various branches of my family tree (mainly the Dengate and Goodwin lines) since 1998, I had quite a collection of bulging folders containing stories and anecdotes which I thought might make for interesting fiction stories. At the time, genealogy was becoming increasingly popular as a hobby, partly due to programmes such as Who Do You Think You Are? and partly because vast quantities of archives and research material was being made available online. For researchers such as myself, who used to drag their bones to the Family Record Centre in Islington to spend hours poring over microfilm copies of the census, this was a big, time-saving revolution!


I wrote the first few chapters of Hiding the Past and submitted it as the final 18,000 word piece in order to complete my MA, intending to eventually complete the novel. However, as I daresay happens to other writers, I allowed myself to be distracted by the allure of starting new stories, leaving me with half a dozen unfinished stories! Then life got in the way...

Hiding the Past sat patiently on my external drive waiting... whilst I trained to be a primary school teacher, bought a 1960s bungalow in much need of modernisation and had a baby (well, I didn't actually have the baby). Then, in 2013 my partner persuaded me to get back to the keyboard and finish it. After countless 5am starts before school started, I gradually completed and edited Hiding the Past. Finally, in September 2013, it was released on Kindle and then in paperback.  The follow-up book - The Lost Ancestor - was released in September 2014.


Take a look on Pinterest for some of the locations / photos used in this book!


Click the red marker balloons in the map below to see some of the real locations used in Hiding the Past.

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