Raid terror: Gunman shot me repeatedly in the back, says Derbyshire-born author
Few novice authors have had a more dramatic episode in their lives than a former Derbyshire police cadet.
Christopher Bolsover.was shot several times in the back by raiders who targeted his home.
He said: "The bullets missed every vital organ and the surgeon said it was a miracle I wasn’t at best crippled or dead. They called me bulletproof."
The horrifying ordeal happened two years ago when Christopher and his wife Monica lived on a smallholding in South Africa.
Christopher said: "The poverty there had produced a wave of crime and murders at a very high level. All our neighbours in ten properties were robbed, one shot dead, others abused and tied up."We had the best security in the area; however, our electric fence was not working one night. My dogs were barking and I went to the big window in the living room to look out in the darkness and see what was going on.
“Three shots were fired through the window a few metres from me. I never heard the shots just felt warmth going through my body. I got up after being hit each time and they just kept firing into my back. The gang blew out the window and jumped inside the house.”
Despite having a weapon pointed at his head, Christopher threw a shard of glass at the gunman and managed to escape to his bedroom to find his own gun.When the gunman asked where the money was, Monica launched a verbal attack at him. Christopher said: "He was so shocked that she wasn't afraid that he lowered the gun and she escaped as well."Christopher spent five days in hospital where surgeons removed most of the shrapnel inside his body. He said: "Some shrapnel too close to a major artery remains inside me and they say it will come to the surface one day. I healed well and am mentally OK. "On his release from hospital, Christopher decided to finish the book that he had been working on for ages. He said: "I sat down and over four days wrote and completed it."Entitled The Hellfire Club, the book focuses on an ex-Army hero who is released on parole and sets out for revenge on the crime lords who he believes set him up.
Christopher, who is 70, used Chesterfield's Crooked Spire, Matlock, Bakewell and the Peak District moors as locations within the book.
He said: "One of the climaxes in my story involves the hero being chased on the moors and in particular the dark moors. This also involved ‘bog trotters’, people who run around the moors for fun."Raised in Ridgeway, Christopher attended St Mary's RC High School in Chesterfield and became a police cadet with Derbyshire Constabulary at 16.
Police training took him to the moorlands around Kinder Scout, Ladybower Reservoir, Jacobs Ladder and near Snake Pass.
He said: "The training was for search and rescue. This was tough work as the moors are full of peat bogs and wet heaths which capture huge volumes of water."Christopher was stationed in Renishaw, Matlock and Heanor during his time in the county's constabulary.He joined the Royal Military Police after two and a half years as a police cadet and was stationed in Germany and then sent to Northern Ireland.
Christopher said: "In my three and a half years in Northern Ireland I investigated eighty four murders/attempted murders and attend hundreds of post mortems.
"I did the first door to door investigation in Crossmaglen on the border where the Royal Ulster Constabulary wouldn’t even go. I was young and this was an exciting time for me. After marrying my first wife there and not being able to see a James Bond movie all the way through due to bomb scares, we emigrated to Australia so our kids could grow up safe."Christopher worked a private detective in Australia before starting his business career which took him to the heights of corporate America with multi-billion-dollar companies.
He lived in South Africa for nine years with his second wife, Monica, where the couple ran several businesses including a restaurant, child's play and party venue, plant nursery and landscaping venture.Christopher said: "After the last invasion where five men with AK47s tunnelled through a wall, we came to the UK and live near Reading. We have two children with us, my stepdaughter Luka, 14, and our son we adopted in South Africa, the gorgeous Thato, 7.
“Monica is a highly qualified maths teacher so it was easy to get a job here."Christopher also has four grown-up children and five grandchildren who live in Australia.
Buoyed up by the support for his manuscript of The Hellfire Club, the author is aiming to have four books on the market in 2022. Christopher said: "Out of ten submissions of my manuscript I got three contract offers. I took the first as I had heard horror stories of years of submitting, even JK Rowling had issues.
The Hellfire Club was published at the end of March. Its successor, entitled The Cleansing List, will be out by the end of the year.
Christopher said: "I have two more books almost completed: a private detective story with a big twist and a kid’s book Skathern Skars- Viking Boy – a bit of an updated Enid Blyton type story."My dream is to become a successful international author, a dream I have since I was seven when I wrote on my dad's wallpaper off-cuttings."The Hellfire Club is available to buy online from the websites of publisher Austin Macauley or Amazon or Barnes and Noble or the Book Depository.