Eva Jordan in conversation with… David Videcette – Author of The Theseus Paradox


I’m very pleased to welcome David Videcette as my guest author today. David is a former Scotland Yard investigator who has worked on a wealth of infamous cases, including the 7 July London bombings in 2005.  Based on real events, The Theseus Paradox, which has had some great reviews, is a gritty thriller that asks,

Who masterminded London’s summer of terror?

Why can’t Flannagan make headway in the sprawling investigation?

Is Jake’s absent girlfriend really who she claims to be?

David, a former wannabe secret agent, explains what inspired him to write and how you should never judge a book by its cover…

Never judge a book by its cover…

First of all, I want to say thank you to the lovely Eva Jordan for inviting me over to her website and asking what inspired me to write.

It’s like those ‘About me’ sections on author’s websites, isn’t it? Write something about yourself – everyone uses the same format…

So here goes:

When I was a little boy I always dreamed of writing a book and being an author, I’ve always loved telling stories…My mum says I’ve had a pen in my hand ever since the age of four and I’ve never been able to put it down…

Hang on!


For me, this just isn’t true, though.


I never dreamed of being an author. No.

I wanted to be a secret agent, maybe even become James Bond. Or go to the moon, or perhaps even Mars. I wanted to design something that could raise the Titanic, or perhaps even discover a hidden pyramid full of treasure in the Egyptian desert…

But I couldn’t do any of those things, could I? After all – I was just the son of a police officer and a cook who worked for the Ministry of Defence, and on top of all that, I went to a lowly, not so great, comprehensive school on an even less great, council estate.

I remember the careers officer telling me the year before I was due to leave school, ‘Keep your expectations realistic’. I guess he’d never had anyone tell him they wanted to be a secret agent or an astronaut? I told him I could do it. That he shouldn’t judge a book by its cover.

He basically laughed me out of his office.

Never judge a book by its cover…

At fifteen – I still hadn’t grown up. All I wanted to do was – anything any other kids couldn’t do – the longest wheelie on my bike; the biggest bunny hop over loads of kids laying on the ground; I wanted to run the fastest, swim the farthest.

I stayed on at school and bummed around a bit, but I didn’t see anything that grabbed my attention much – and nothing that I thought would put me on course to being a secret agent. So I went out and got a job…

A really glamorous one at that…

Now, working in Argos, picking items off the shelves was a far cry from being a secret agent or an astronaut, I know – but I learned lots of things at Argos.

Argos was different. It didn’t try to be like any of the other stores on the high street. Argos didn’t look very pretty from the outside. Inside it was simply a counter with tills. It had no products on display. There was no maze of stacked shelves to negotiate to try and find your way in or out of the store, no gimmicky products in the window to grab your attention. It looked rubbish from the outside. It did its own thing, doing what customers wanted. It was an incredibly successful store and customers queued out of our doors most days to buy products.

Never judge a book by its cover…

But the limited glamour of Argos eventually wore off. I tried many other jobs, but nothing captured my heart and soul.

So in the early nineties, I joined the police service. I worked hard at police training school and learned all the techniques and laws that I needed to know in order to become a uniformed officer.

On 9th February 1996, not long into my career as a police officer, I was inside a police building in south London, near to the Blackwall tunnel. At 7pm there was the loudest bang I had ever heard. It shook the windows and rattled the doors. I felt the vibrations through the ground.

Half a mile away, the IRA had bombed Canary Wharf with a huge lorry bomb. Two people were dead and £500 million pounds worth of damage had been caused. We rushed to assist our neighbouring police borough, just across the river and I had never witnessed a scene like it. Complete devastation. Gigantic tower blocks had been gutted by the blast, some of which had been moved off their foundations.

It was then, standing there, that I made up my mind. I wanted to join the Anti-Terrorist branch. I wanted to be part of the team that tracked down terrorists and prosecuted them.

But you had to be a detective to do that, so – I set about becoming a detective.

Twenty-two years after my hopeless meeting with the useless careers officer, having spent blood, sweat and tears working my way through borough policing, CID and organised crime, I was finally successful in being selected for the Anti-Terrorist branch – a highly trained, Specialist Operations unit of the Metropolitan police.

On 7th July 2005, the unimaginable happened. Four suicide bombers murdered fifty two people on London’s transport system. On 21st July, just two weeks later – another attempt was made to do the same.

As I desperately hunted for the answer of why this had happened and who had done it, I hunted down suspects, chased terrorists across continents, and had unprecedented access to the world of spies, secrets and foreign intelligence agencies.

Argos was but a distant memory.

I never made it to the moon, or Mars, or even to becoming a fully-fledged secret agent – but I came as close as a boy from a council estate could. On leaving the police, I realised that the careers officer had been wrong to tell me I couldn’t follow my dream.

I realised that I’d seen and done some very special things, things that you sometimes only see in films, and that I wanted to share these things – to share with others what it was really like and what happened behind the scenes. Not the made-up, fantasy Hollywood version, but the real, first-hand, British police account.

And now I share those experiences in hard-hitting, gritty, reality-based crime thrillers.

My books don’t follow the fashionable patterns of the publishing world. I don’t write for certain markets or platforms. I won’t change the story to fit what a marketer says will sell or what is politically correct. And that’s because I have to tell it how it happened. My books are what they are. Like me.

Never judge a book by its cover…

David’s debut thriller, The Theseus Paradox, set against the backdrop of the 7/7 London bombings, was voted in the top ten books of the year by five independent review websites. It became a number one bestseller in its Amazon category within a month of launch and the truth behind the fiction has since been investigated by The Sunday Telegraph, The Mirror, The Sun, Sky and ITV News.

 The Theseus Paradox is available to buy for Kindle or in paperback at Amazon, through Waterstones online or Blackwell’s Bookshop online or via The Book Depository.



You can connect with David Videcette via:

David’s website

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