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Book documenting murder of Sophie Lancaster riding high in charts after relaunch; The Sophie Lancaster Story was written by former Rossendale Free Press news editor Catherine Smyth.

Byline: accrington

A book documenting the murder of Sophie Lancaster has been relaunched after attracting the attention of a crime publisher from Canada.

True crime book 'The Sophie Lancaster Story' details the attack in August 2007 on Sophie Lancaster and her boyfriend, Rob Maltby, which led to her death, and contains an extra chapter to bring the story up to 2016.

The book, which also features the trial and the aftermath, with the setting up of The Sophie Lancaster Foundation, is available in Kindle and paperback formats.

Author Catherine Smyth, of Weir, was news editor at the Rossendale Free Press until 2009 when she took redundancy and became a freelance journalist, press and PR officer.

Catherine, 49, said: "I never intended to write a book, but when I chose redundancy I was offered the opportunity to document the Sophie case, which I had been closely involved in reporting. My original book, 'Weirdo Mosher Freak' was published in 2010.

"By chance, a true crime author and publisher from Toronto, Canada, RJ Parker, stumbled across it in 2012 and wrote a review on Amazon. We corresponded through Facebook and earlier this year he offered me the chance to relaunch the book through his own publishing house."

Since its release on April 23, the book has been consistently in the UK top 10 for a variety of Kindle genres on Amazon.

On the online retailer's UK site it peaked as the second most popular ebook in the category of history: UK and true crime: criminals, and in Canada was number 25 in true crime: murder and mayhem.

Catherine added: "RJ has written 20 true crime novels, publishes many for other writers and is in the top 100 authors on Amazon. I felt privileged he wanted to get the message of what happened to Sophie out to a wider audience."

After reviewing the book four years ago, RJ said: "It was a shame it wasn't selling as it's a well written account of a truly sad story.

"My 21-year-old daughter Katie Marie read the book as she has a friend who gets bullied for being a Goth. I told her the book wasn't selling well and she said if I published it, it would get more exposure, so I contacted Catherine.

"Katie Marie cried reading the original and gave a copy of the new release to her friend. She is delighted more people are reading it. She despises bullies."

The book is available on Amazon and casting has begun for iTunes and a worldwide audiobook.

CAPTION(S):

Former Free Press news editor Catherine Smyth with her book on the murder of Sophie Lancaster.

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Publication:Accrington Observer (Chadderton, England)
Geographic Code:1CANA
Date:Feb 7, 2019
Words:439
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