The Grifter by Sean Campbell and Ali Gunn / #Interview #BlogTour @zooloo2008 @GunnCrime @DCIMorton


He stole billions.

Meet Kent Bancroft: investment guru, rising star of the London social scene, and, keep it quiet, the mastermind behind the biggest fraud in history.

Among his victims is the most unlikely of nemeses: a working-class electrician turned vagrant, a man with no money, no power, and no big ideas. Except one: the burning desire to get even, whatever the cost. Will Kent see him coming before it’s too late? Or is London’s richest man about to find his comeuppance in London’s most downtrodden?




With Sean Campbell

When and where do you prefer to write?

My writing schedule is pretty flexible. For about four months of the year, I’ll primarily do research for the next book. That’s everything from scouting locations to reading medical journals, keeping abreast of the genre generally, and watching documentaries, films, and the like.

When I’m in my “writing” phase, I tend to be quite extreme. I get up at five most days and write on/off until around ten pm. My best “new” ideas usually come in the evening so I use the mornings to re-read the previous day’s work, reply to emails, and deal with the business side of things.

Do you need peace and quiet when you are writing?

Ideally! I put headphones on and block out the world.

If you had the chance to co-write a book. Whom would it be with?

I have to say Ali Gunn, don’t I? We’ve just written The Grifter which was fantastic. We used a ‘two protagonist’ approach, alternating between the viewpoints of Kent Bancroft, the billionaire fraudster, and the man trying to bring him down.

Say someone asks if they can use your name in a book. Would you rather be the ‘good one’ or the ‘bad one’?

Nobody’s one or the other. Aren’t we all the hero of our own story? But definitely the “bad” guy. Every once in a while, I want to see the bad guy win.

Who would you like/have liked to interview?

Oskar Schindler. I’d love to know how/ when he realised that his early career in the Abwehr (despite being a Czechoslovakian citizen) wasn’t right, and how he reconciled having served as a Nazi spy with his work bribing officials to keep his Jewish workers safe. That friction must have been enormously stressful.

Where can I find you when you are reading?

I’d love to say in a big, spacious home library, but as I live in London, space is at a bit of a premium so probably in the living room curled up on the sofa.

Where can I find you wen you are not writing/reading?

I’m allowed to not be reading/ writing?!

This last lockdown year aside, I love going on random adventures. Little islands in the middle of nowhere, lakes, mountains, basically anywhere beautiful and away from people.

What goes through your mind when you hold your new book in your hands for the first time?

I’m like a kid at Christmas. It feels far more real holding a paperback than it does reading the manuscript on my kindle.

How do you come up with a title for your book?

They change. A lot.

My last DCI Morton book “My Hands Are Tied” was originally “Double Blind” in tribute to the entrance to the cult’s compound. Then it had the working title 1,2,3 Murder on account of the three attempted murders in the book. But it’s not exactly catchy!

I want things to be unique, pay tribute to a theme or scene in the book, and to work for the genre (the words dead, murder, body, killer etc tell readers instantly if it’s the genre they’re looking for & they work well for SEO purposes too). Length is important too. I’d like to have used a set format “Death in the…” sort of things as it’s strong branding. Some of mine aren’t so genre-specific (Cleaver Square for example) while some are a bit long even though I love them (e.g. The Evolution of a Serial Killer).

Puns, double meaning, and ambiguity are a must e.g. for “The Grifter”, it’s not obvious who is the grifter. Is it Kent? Or is it the guy chasing him?

In the end, I run all my possible ideas past my Advance Readers fan group on Facebook to see what they think. Then I’ll make an informed decision.

How do you pick a cover for your book?

Again, I like to crowd-source opinions. My designer usually gives me three or four concepts that fit my brief. I usually have a strong opinion out of the gate but it’s not me that has to buy it. The lovely UK Crime Book Club on Facebook picked my last one (My Hands Are Tied).

Thank you, Sean Campbell and Ali Gunn and Zooloo’s Book Tours


About the authors

Sean trained as a barrister and was called to the Bar of England and Wales back in 2011. Luckily for him, he now spends his days working out how to kill people without being caught, and then flipping the switch to play detective. His non-writing interests vary from photography and cinema to rugby and hiking. You can usually find him somewhere in one of London’s coffee shops – look for the big bearded guy taking up way too much room and hogging the Wi-Fi.

He is the author of the seven DCI Morton novels (Dead on Demand, Cleaver Square, Ten Guilty Men, The Patient Killer, Missing Persons, The Evolution of a Serial Killer, and My Hands Are Tied), one seasonal novella (Christmas Can Be Murder) plus the standalone crime thriller The Grifter.

Ali Gunn kills people for a living*.

The characters in Ali’s books are the kind of strong, fearless women that every girl dreams of growing up to be.

The first DCI Elsie Mabey novel, The Career Killer, has been downloaded over 75,000 times since its release.

Book two in the series, The Psychopath Within, is due for release in 2022.

Ali is also a co-author of The Grifter, out August 15th 2021.

To find out more, visit

*fictional people, honest officer!


Author Links

Sean Campbell

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Ali Gunn




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    Sean Campbell


Book Links

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