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English lawyer Nigel James talks to SUR in English about his latest crime thriller The Marbella Project
22.10.14 - 11:52 -
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"Marbella gave me the idea for the book"
Nigel James says readers will recognise settings in his book. :: SUR
It’s got Russian mafia, high body counts and glamorous women galore.
Set in the murky world of the Costa del Crime with Puerto Banús used as the glamorous setting for some scenes, English author Nigel James’s thriller ‘The Marbella Project’ is a story of revenge and the bringing down of a notorious criminal gang.
But he didn’t have to do too much research into the world of organised crime, as the 60-year-old dad of two is a Queen’s Counsel in London by day, and uses his real life experience in court as inspiration for some of the book.
Readers will also recognise many of the settings in the novel, such as the Santa María Golf Club and the second line in Puerto Banús.
Nigel, who was born in Southend and has had a home in Elviria for ten years, divides his time between the UK and the Costa del Sol.
He told SUR in English: “The book is a crime thriller set principally on the Costa del Sol, though there are scenes in London and Moscow. It involves a father’s quest for revenge after his son is murdered by the Russian mafia in Puerto Banús and the Spanish police seem powerless to act. The father, Dan Green, is no ordinary father as he is an ex-officer in the SAS. He recruits a former colleague and the two of them set off on their mission to destroy the organisation, which controls most of the serious crime along the coast.
“Marbella gave me the idea for the book. Readers who know the area will recognise the street behind the port in Puerto Banús where the opening scene occurs in a bar like Linekers. I love the area. It’s got everything, including a dark side, and provides a glamorous backdrop for a thriller. For example, I was in Elviria just after the recent shooting there and people said maybe the book isn’t so far-fetched!”
‘The Marbella Project’ is the second crime thriller Nigel has written, but he hopes to write more as he ‘winds down’ from his day job as a lawyer.
“Given my day job, both my books have involved subjects I know a lot about, so I have not had to do much research,” said Nigel. “Many of the locations will be familiar to those who live in Marbella or visit the area regularly. So Dan rents a flat from an estate agent in Elviria, they get their weapons in a golf bag handed over by an arms dealer at the Santa María Golf Club and some may recognise the brothel that gets burnt down!”
As for why he decided to start writing, he explains: “I’ve always been a fan of thrillers and thought that I could write one. When I finally got round to it, Deep Secret (his first book) took about ten years as I was so busy at work, but this one only took a year as the second one is much easier.”
And for anyone thinking of writing their own book, Nigel said you have to be “determined and stick at it”.
He said: “It does take time and lots of it. Many people start and give up. You may have a good story but it’s actually quite hard to fill 300 pages plus, which is about the minimum you need for a novel. Also, writing the book is only the start. You need to put as much effort into marketing it, and that’s tough if you’ve never done it before. You can’t just put a book out and hope people find it. They won’t. For example you need to use social media like Twitter. I have had loads of people compliment the book on there (@nigelcjames).”
Asked where he prefers writing in his spare time, he added: “My ideal environment for writing is simply a quiet room with a laptop. Once I start a session, and I often find excuses not to start one, I become completely engrossed and don’t want to stop. I reckon it takes me six hours to write ten pages.”
Nigel is currently halfway through writing his third book - ‘The Corsican Project’ - a sequel to ‘The Marbella Project’.
‘The Marbella Project’ is available on Amazon in digital and paperback form.


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