Thriller debut for David

Author David Coubrough in Cornwall
Author David Coubrough in Cornwall

Entrepreneur David Coubrough has scaled the dizzy heights of success business-wise, but now he’s starting out on a brand new career – thriller writing.

And the father-of-four from Oakley couldn’t be more excited.

“It’s difficult for a first time author to get published,” he admitted. “But I was convinced I’d written a good story with a good plot and I was absolutely determined.

“I didn’t feel the love initially – there was the usual round of rejections, no replies and ‘It’s not for us.’ But once I found an agent who believed in it – David Godwin – things quickly took off.”

David’s debut novel Half a Pound of Tuppeny Rice was recently launched at the Savoy and he’s just returned from a second event in St Ives, where the book is set and where he had many happy holidays as a boy.

He said: “I’d describe it as Agatha Christie meets a latter-day Poldark.

“Cornwall is full of dark and bruising places and the plot is complicated, involving a group of families who stay at the same hotel every year. But their idyll ends abruptly when the porter is fatally poisoned and the body of a guest washes up ashore . . .”

David always wanted to be a journalist and excelled at English at school. But at 17 he went to work for an uncle with a hotel in Devon and got seduced by the hospitality industry.

He spent 35 years climbing the ladder, co-founding the specialist firm Portfolio Recruitment. He was chairman of Bespoke Hotels and a director at Maldon Sea Salt. He’s on the Board of Governors at the Royal Academy of Culinary Arts as well as the board of Bloomsbury Properties and co-owns the Beehive pub in Berkshire.

He said: “I’ve done the corporate stuff, I don’t really have any ambitions left there. Everyone should be able to reinvent themselves, if they have the urge to break the barricades.

“I now write three days a week and if I wake at 3am with an idea, I head downstairs and really go for it.”

The keen author is currently writing a sequel. “I left the door open with a little teaser at the end but there will be a Majorca connection,” he promised.

> Half a Pound of Tuppenny Rice (Peter Owen Publishers) by David Coubrough, £9.99.