First in the Black Viking P.I. Series

Untethered is a semi-autobiographical crime noir, exploring themes of identity, isolation and the damaging effects of drink, depression and PTSD.’


5.0 out of 5 stars /  on 11 December 2017


Untethered deals with heavy drinking, depression, PTSD, isolation and struggling writers in search of identity, meaning and purpose to go on, having already crawled stoic through life’s darkness.

‘Untethered’ is largely an auto-biographical piece on identity and alternate paths walked, after facing up to moral junctions in life. It also considers the decisions made based on right and wrong felt at the time and the outcomes of this.

It’s crime noir full of dirty realism.


John’s bored in his witness protection program in Bristol. He’s both an ex SAS soldier and former doorman of the infamous Manchester club, the Hacienda. As he searches for meaning at the bottom of many a glass, madness sets in and cryptic messages start to arrive.

One note comes with a knock on his door and a chance to find a missing girl; to start over again… as a Private Investigator.

His therapist encourages him to put his demons on paper; to write it all out. As John battles with his past, could this writing lead him to find the girl, his future and maybe even love?

Reviews and Press

Read Storgy magazine’s review of Untethered here.

Read the review on the Crime Fiction Lover website here.

Take a look at this review of Untethered from Publisher’s Weekly here.

Read John’s short story, ‘Milburn’s Last Class’ which is a finalist in Storgy magazine’s Flash Fiction competition.

Here’s Paul D Brazill’s review of Untethered.

Read this review on The Thrilling Detective of John’s book.

Read John’s latest interview with Paul D. Brazill here.

Find out more about Untethered here on Goodreads.

Read Publishers Weekly’s review of Untethered – click here

Read an interview with Paul D. Brazill – click here

‘John Bowie’s ’90s set Untethered is a violent and intense read. Lyrical, moody, funny and as gritty as hell, Untethered is like a British blend of Jim Thompson and Nelson Algren.’ – Paul D. Brazill, author of Guns of Brixton

‘Set in 1998 in Bristol, England, Bowie’s dark, hard-edged crime novel inaugurates a promising series.’ – Publishers Weekly

‘Noir fans will find a lot to like.’ – BookLife

‘I would definitely recommend this crime novel and John Bowie as an author, and look forward to reading his next book.’ – Amanda Brightman, STORGY.COM



…I know it’s really my last chance to turn back. I’m at a crossroads with one foot in the devil’s footprint…JB, UNTETHEЯED
And like a fool, here I am again, lapping at the beast’s teats like a true fool, laying my head in the lion’s mouth as I hit it on the arse with a big stick.JB, UNTETHEЯED
Whether you’re a pawn, king or queen it doesn’t matter a shit, unless you’re the hand that moves it all on the board.JB, UNTETHEЯED