When journalist Geoffrey Seed was unable to verify what would have been an extraordinary scoop, he was not prepared to let his efforts — or the story — go to waste.
The former BBC Panorama producer decided to base his debut novel on the material — a tip-off from a retired diplomat about a Holocaust survivor who had “arranged” what appeared to be suicides. The resulting book is called A Place of Strangers.
Mr Seed, 60, tells People: “I did all the shoe-leather but couldn’t persuade a lawyer to go with it. It was a fascinating story and I wanted to do something with it. This was the next best thing.” That said, Mr Seed, who has made documentaries on cocaine smuggling in Colombia, murders in the Balkans and corruption at Manchester United, says the novel was “more satisfying than anything I have ever worked on before.
“I have an abiding interest in the Holocaust and am driven by the view that every generation needs to understand the enormity of the Holocaust. I hope the book will enable a new set of people to understand a fraction of what went on.”
The story is set in Mr Seed’s house in Lower Garth, Guilsfield, near Welshpool, where he has lived for 20 years.
He did interview the diplomat’s original source, but says that despite being seriously ill, “he wouldn’t roll over. So, I’ve compromised — top-spun my research, stitched it into other bits of whimsy from a journeyman’s life to make it a love story and called it a literary fiction”.