DI Angus Henderson was born in Fort William, Highland Region and spent most of his youth on the moors near Fort William, hill walking and fishing. Later, he worked on the Ardgour Estate in their sprawling heather and forest covered lands above Strontian on the Ardnamurchan peninsula, assisting tourists with grouse shooting, deer hunting or bird watching.
With a degree in Sociology and Psychology from Glasgow University, he continued to live in the city and joined a financial services company as a management trainee. He liked the people, money and the security but hated the work and six years later, joined Strathclyde police. Not long afterwards, he met Laura, the girl of every man’s dream; bright, funny, sexy and a marketing executive with an international drinks conglomerate.
In a twelve-year career that included pounding the mean streets of his adopted city, he participated in joint-operations with Customs, worked for the Football Intelligence Unit and worked undercover in drug surveillance. He soon moved through the ranks to Detective Inspector. One sunny afternoon, the routine interception of a drugs shipment into a warehouse in Scotstoun changed his life irrevocably when in self-defence, he shot and killed one of the drug traffickers.
The resultant court case, newspaper headlines and an internal enquiry left its mark and while suspended from duty, he drank heavily and wasn’t an easy guy to live with. In the end, he was exonerated by an internal enquiry but lost the battle to save his marriage. At the age of thirty-nine, he left Glasgow for Sussex, not only without a triumphant return to the ranks of Strathclyde Police to his name, but without his wife and his two children, Hannah and Lewis.
Rachel Jones the DI’s girlfriend is from Epsom in Surrey. Educated at private school, she sailed through ‘A’ levels and went straight into university to study English but came down with a bump after almost failing second year. In the end, she narrowly scraped by with a 2:1. Her father’s love of cars converted her into a petrol-head and with ambitions to be a journalist, set her heart on working for a motoring magazine. Lack of journalistic experience and blatant sexism counted against her and instead, her big break came at the Brighton Argus.
After first completing a six month ‘apprenticeship’ as the office dogsbody, she was appointed Environment and Countryside correspondent, considered a sinecure for soon-to-be retiring hacks or the last stop before firing for a troublemaker, but Rachel has made it her own and for the moment, all thoughts of becoming a motoring journalist have been put on the back-burner. At the time of the big murder enquiry at Lewes University (featured in One Last Lesson), they had been going out for five months and occasionally they talked about moving in together, but before plans can be finalised, another big case comes along to distract him.