St Albans author’s debut is inspired by Buncefield disaster

David Marlow of 47 Brampton Road, St Albans, posing with his book Fire in the Whole

David Marlow of 47 Brampton Road, St Albans, posing with his book Fire in the Whole - Credit: Archant

A St Albans father-of-three has published his first book, a thriller inspired by the 2005 inferno at the Buncefield Oil Storage Terminal.

David Marlow, 47, from Brampton Road, was mowing his lawn last spring when he was struck by an idea for his first novel.

As he carried on his regular job teaching in London, he dedicated his evenings and weekends to writing.

The end result was Fire in the Whole, a story about a group of people affected by a catastrophic industrial accident.

David partially based the novel on the Buncefield fire in Hemel Hempstead, when a blast wave on December 11 in 2005 shook buildings 25 miles away, while smoke produced by the fire spread out over London, the south east, and even across France.

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He said that the experience proved quite cathartic as he was recovering from a back injury at the time.

Of the self-published title, David said: “I’m not so naïve to believe that I’m going to make my fortune with the book, but the more people who get the opportunity to read it, the better.

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“If one person tells me that they thought it was quite good then, for me, that’s a result.”

Fire in the Whole is available to buy on Amazon in both paperback and Kindle edition, with all proceeds from the latter going to Save the Children.

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