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Murder Unchained-bookcover

By: Douglas Hall

Murder Unchained

Pages: 286 Ratings: 5.0
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When Private Investigator Paul West took on his next case, it seemed easy and one that would pay handsomely. All West had to do was compile a profile of Jason Knox for his only son, Matthew, who had no memory of him. His father had walked away from Matthew’s mother when he was an infant and left him the sole beneficiary of his multi-million-dollar estate.

It didn’t take long before he was thrust into one of the most complex cases in a long and illustrious career. It took him to Ebony River, a small town, on Vancouver Island’s east coast that seldom gave a wink or nod to the outside world.

What he found was the two-year-old unsolved murder of Jason Knox and his wife that was still baffling RCMP Sergeant Andy Holt. When West told him why he had come to Ebony River, Holt asked him if he would go undercover and help him solve the case.

West’s investigation concentrated on an eclectic range of residents including: bikers with an agenda, a former member of the town council with a grudge to settle, a small church time had left behind, a farmer’s Sunday dinner that revealed hidden secrets and a mayor desperately trying to get re-elected.

Murder Unchained is a page-turner. It will keep the reader guessing up to the last page.

Doug Hall is a graduate from the University of Toronto. Doug was appointed Senior Press Officer for IBM Canada Inc.

After seven-and-a-half years of extensive media relations, Hall moved on to become a Canadian radio and television personality for more than 32 years. He hosted a number of nationally syndicated Canadian shows on both radio and television, including: The Doug Hall Show; Daybeat; The Anatomy of Living; Taking Sides; Your Opinion; Bestsellers and What is Truth, as a member of the panel with Paul Hellyer, former Minister of National Defense, CBC personality Lorraine Thomson and CFRB radio newscaster Bob Hesketh.  Celebrated author, broadcaster, and newspaper executive Charles Templeton was the moderator.

A number of Hall’s TV shows were telecast on cable and independent U.S. stations. During Hall’s career he travelled extensively on assignment to the United States, Europe, Scandinavia, The Soviet Union, Lebanon, Syria, Jordan, Israel, Egypt, Haiti, and Iraq. Hall has written eleven mysteries, five novels, three children’s books and three biographies including: “The Real Patsy Cline” and “The Mamas and The Papas.” Hall was the only multiple screenwriter for the 20th Century/NBC/CTV series “The Starlost”. He was also the Executive Producer for a number of television musical biographies including: Englebert Humperdinck; Paul Anka; Roy Orbison; Chet Atkins and Gordon Lightfoot. Hall’s 22 books have been published in Canada, the United States, The United Kingdom, Sweden, and the Soviet Union. A number have been translated into German, Swedish, and Russian.

Customer Reviews
17 reviews
17 reviews
  • Allan Strader Barrister & Solicitor Toronto, Canada

    I just finished reading "Murder Unchained" last night. Another page turner in The Paul West Mystery Series, Congratulations

    Allan Strader
    Barrister and Solicitor
    Toronto, Canada

  • Johnathan Mulvihill


    Murder Unchained is the third book in the Paul West Mystery Series by Pickering author Douglas Hall, and was released March 30 - Jonathan Mulvihill/Metroland.

    Pickering author Douglas Hall says his latest novel is the best one he has written in his career so far (it' is his 25th). "Murder Unchained" released on March 30th is the third book in the Paul West mystery series proceeded by "Murder Can Kill" in 2018, and "Murder Never Sleeps" last year.
    This new book begins with West compiling a profile of a man for his only son, who has no memory of him. However, it does not take long before the private investigator is thrust into one of his most complex cases in his career. "It takes him (West) to Ebony River, a small town on Vancouver Island's east coast that seldom gave a wink or nod to the outside world." Hall said,. "What West found was the two-year-old unsolved murder of Jason Knox and his companion that still baffled the RCMP."
    The 91-year-old author adds West's investigation takes him to an eclectic range of residents, including bikers with an agenda, a former member of town council with a grudge to settle, a small church time had left behind and a mayor desperately trying to get re-elected. "This one is certainly a page-turner," Hall said. "Throughout my writing career, I've written some good books and some mediocre ones too ,But I think this one is the best novel I've written in the P:aul West series and as a whole, to date." Hall says he has visited Vancouver a number of times and drew on those memories when writing this book. ."A lot of the characters are composites of people I've met throughout my life," Hall said. "I also placed a few red herrings into the book, but I always bring it back to the center of the story.." He adds when he first wrote Paul West for "Murder Can Kill", he knew he had to continue writing the character. "Paul West, to me, is the quintessential police officer, he said, "it is too good not to keep going."

    Hall grew up in Haley Station and attended Renfrew Collegiate Institute (RCI) until the age of 16 when he completed his education at the University of Toronto. He spent seven-and-a-half years doing extensive media relations (for IBM Canada Inc.) .and 32 years as a Canadian radio and television personality retiring in 1999. He says the whole process of of writing a novel takes about a year. " Blocking and plotting out the story takes me about three months, with another six dedicated to writing, he said. "My wife, Joyce, (of 67 years) will then go over and since she has a keen eye for syntax, tense, continuity and grammar, she'll go and make notes. Editing and revisions will take around three months., before I submit to my publisher. Hall adds whenever whiting his novels, he does a great amount of research to make sure everything is accurate. "Anything cop-related, I'll run by my son-in-law, who is a retired police sergeant, and he'll say whether or not that is actual procedure. He'll tell me what the police do to add some realism to the story.'
    Hall says he has three more plots mapped out for the Paul West Series.
    "I know exactly where I'm going to take him.
    In Canada "Murder Unchained" is available on Amazon, Indigo, Google and

  • Laura Witt, New Westminister British Columbia, Canada

    Just read an early copy of Murder Unchained, my third book in The Paul West Mystery Series, and really enjoyed it. The Mayor was quite a character - I enjoyed her scheming ways.

  • J.T. Durham, Ontario Canada

    I just received my copy of "Murder Unchained" and am nicely into it.. If reads as great at the end as it has at the beginning, Hall has another winner for the Paul West Mystery Series.

    J.T. Durham, Ontario Canada

  • Jonathan Mulvihill

    Who doesn’t love a good mystery?

    Pickering author Douglas Hall has a few new novels coming out, all part of the new Paul West Mystery Series.

    Murder Can Kill, the first book in the series, was released last year. The next three novels are finished and awaiting release: Murder Unchained within the next few weeks, Murder Never Sleeps early in the New Year and Murder in Time in late spring/early summer 2020.

    The 90-year-old author grew up in Haley Station and attended Renfrew Collegiate Institute (RCI) until age 16, where he completed his education at the University of Toronto.

    After graduating, he spent seven-and-a-half years doing extensive media relations before beginning a 32-year career as a Canadian radio and television personality.

    Throughout his career, Hall wrote many novels and other works whenever he got the chance, with more time opening up following his retirement in 1999.

    “I am lucky that the books are fulfilling and have enriched my career as a broadcaster and journalist when I was working,” he said. “Now they are a wonderful way to fill my retirement years with all the time in the world to write.”

    While Hall has written biographies and children’s books in the past, his last few novels, along with his next few, are all mysteries.

    “I have a lot of fun writing mysteries,” he said. “You can start off with a murder or kidnapping and then you let your imagination go from there more or less."

    When creating the main protagonist, private detective Paul West, Hall immediately grew attached to him.

    “When I created Paul West for Murder Can Kill, I found the perfect protagonist to build on with each new mystery,” he said. “I know how old he is, what he looks like and what his interests are, among other things. He’s become a friend and if he walked into a room I’d recognize him immediately.”

    The author says he gets inspirations for his plots and characters from various places.

    “Many times they’ve come from experiences that that were triggered by the good and ugly people I have known or from observations of how people relate to various situations,” Hall said. “All my characters are composites of people I liked and didn’t like. I take the best and worst of them and let my imagination run wild.”

    Over the years he formulated a timetable for writing each of his novels.

    “I begin with an approximate 3,000 word plot outline for my publisher and if they accept it and offer a contract, I schedule the book from beginning to submission,” Hall said. “Usually my timetable is nine months: six to write and three for editing and rewriting.”

    He added he likes bringing each draft at 70,000 to 80,000 words, or about 270 to 280 pages long.

    “On a typical day I’ll wake up, eat breakfast, read a paper or two then go to my study for 10 a.m. where I’ll write until noon,” Hall said. “After lunch, I’ll write for another two-and-a-half hours. My goal is to write 1,000 to 2,000 ‘first-draft’ words a day.”

    His wife, Joyce, is an invaluable help in proofreading his work.

    “Everything I write, when I do a chapter or a scene, I’ll run it by her,” Hall said. “She has a wicked eye for syntax and such.”

    He has no plans on leaving the mystery genre anytime soon.

    “My mystery novels have done well in the past so it only makes sense I keep doing them,” Hall said. “Including the books coming out, I have another three plot outlines finished too.”

    In addition to local libraries and stores, Hall’s books are available online from Amazon, Google and Indigo.


    I am the president of a local book club and am compiling the fall and winter reading list for our members. I just finished reading "Murder Unchained" by Douglas Hall. It was a fast-paced mystery thriller with an imaginative plot and I enjoyed it thoroughly. I will be adding it to this fall's reading list. Every reading list includes a mystery and I intend to dip into "Murder Can Kill" and "Murder Never Sleeps." If they are as page turning as "Murder Unchained" I shall be adding them to our reading lists at a later date.

    Whitby Ontario, Canada

  • Diane Joyce May, Durham, Ontario Canada

    I have read all three books in The Paul West Mystery Series "Murder Can Kill" "Murder Never Sleeps" and "Murder Unchained" and found all three were good reads with many surprises. However I really did enjoy "Murder Unchained" and I think it is the best. so far. The police investigation was well written and surprisingly unlike many mysteries this one had few embellishments. I am looking forward to the next book with anticipation to see what the writer has done next with Paul West's character. I am sure each book will add to it as it will never stop expanding in most unexpected ways as he solves yet another mystery in his unique style..

  • Nikita Dua

    Shortly after it was published I read "Murder Can Kill" and wrote a review which in paraphrase said how delighted I was to have found it and enjoyed it thoroughly and was looking forward to reading the next one in "The Paul West Mystery Series" Unfortunately I have been extremely busy at work and never got around to it.
    But now I shall. After reading an incredible newspaper review on "Murder Unchained" and after watching the eye-catching video on the book it is at the top of my list to purchase and read. I am sure I won't be disappointed.
    Nikita Dua
    Whitby Ontario Canada

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