I know how to write about Hull. The research is pretty simple. I stand at the end of a random bar in the Old Town and count backwards from ten in my head. Usually, by the time I reach four, an old trawlerman or a former cop or a one-time circus strongman, will have told me about the time they were arrested on suspicion of turning their ex-wife into hamburgers or thrown in a Russian gulag charged with espionage and sheep-rustling.
This is the landscape that journalists and bloggers and booksellers seem keen to talk to me about. The bleak, rain-lashed spit of land on the far edge of things. The area where Detective Sergeant Aector McAvoy tries to enable the wrongly bereaved to say their final goodbyes. The area that has allowed me to quit my old job as a crime journalist and make a living writing books that have sold all over the world.