A True Story of an Innocent man,

a Twisted Accusation and the Fight for Truth

Introducing The Knock – a relentless rollercoaster of suspense that thrusts you into the heart-wrenching predicament of Max, an innocent family man, accused of downloading indecent images.

Imagine your life turned upside down in an instant. Accused of downloading indecent images you never touched. A loving spouse, two precious children – all hanging in the balance. But the accusations won’t relent. They’re coming for you, no matter what.

Everything drops on a dime, your life can change at the drop of a hat, just like that, at any time, just like that!

And it’s how you deal with it, can you come out the other side, will it break you? Me? Why me? This is not me!

In this pulse-pounding tale, brace yourself for a gripping fight against an unforgiving system. Max’s world teeters on the edge as he races against time, battling for his freedom and the truth that will unravel this sinister web of deception. Can he clear his name and shield his family from the haunting consequences?

The Knock is an unyielding exploration of justice, loyalty, and the harrowing lengths one man will go to protect all that he holds dear. Prepare for an unrelenting, gut-wrenching journey that will leave you questioning how far you would go to prove your innocence.



“Between 2015 and 2019, nearly 62,000 obscene publications offences against children were recorded across 39 police forces within England and Wales (Office for National Statistics, 2020).

In the same time frame, 8,318,529 unique indecent images of children were added to the Child Abuse Image Database (CAID), with over 700,000 falling into the most severe category of image …

Importantly, a substantial parallel has been identified between the volume, availability, and circulation of Indecent Images of Children and the augmentation of the internet (Carr, 2003; Wolak et al., 2011).

While possession offences of this nature are not new (the Protection of Children Act 1978 first made Indecent Images of Children possession offences illegal within England, Wales, and Northern Ireland, with similar provisions in Scotland), the number of recorded offences has been growing year by year (Child Exploitation and Online Protection Centre, 2012).

Despite the true figure not being known, it has been suggested that in 2013, around 50,000 individuals within the United Kingdom downloaded Indecent Images of Children (Giles & Alison, 2021). These growing figures have attracted public interest in recent years.”

Source: Taylor-Smith, J.S. (2021) ‘Public perceptions of indecent image offenders’, The Plymouth Student Scientist, 14(2), pp. 636-650.





What can be worse than being accused of downloading indecent images of children, the most vulnerable people in society, the definition of innocence, our future.

Max is one of thousands arrested every year in the UK alone, most afraid to even mention it, because even the accusation is humiliating, never mind have the courage to fight it.

What will your wife think? What will your children think? What will your boss and colleagues at work think? What will your neighbours think? He was accused of downloading indecent images of children? What would any normal rational human being think?

It is almost unthinkable, unspeakable, but sick, perverted, vile, disgusting and depraved are probably near the top of most people’s polite terms for it.

But all it takes for judgment hell to come down on top of you may be opening an email, a pop-up or one person to point the finger at you, and the machine roars into action with jaws of crocodile teeth that will snap out your life-as-you-know-it in an instant.

It is utterly terrifying beyond belief, as anyone, like Max, who has been through it, know all too well, and many do not survive to tell the tale. 

77% of the total number of deaths by suicide, of those arrested in relation to a sexual offence between 2015-16, were individuals suspected of IIOC offences. 

 All the more so, because if you download indecent images of children (IIOC) you are considered a sex offender and most IIOC sex offenders are not your typical common or garden thieves, drug dealers, rapists or murderers, but formerly respectable and seemingly law-abiding citizens, with no prior convictions.

Offenders were predominantly white and aged between 35 and 45. They were better educated and more likely to work in professional occupations when compared to other sex offender
populations, and they typically had few previous convictions.(Brown and Bicknell 2018). 

Despite media fear-mongering IIOC sex offenders are not necessarily pedophiles, in the form of contact offenders.

Viewing IIOC alone does not necessarily place someone at high risk of committing a contact sexual offence against a child … even when they live and work closely with children (Bailey et al., 2016)

IIOC sex offenders may be people suffering from a porn addiction that got out of hand.

Perkins (2018) proposes that IIOC offending could be related to sex or pornography addiction, whereby individuals seek out more extreme material when sexual arousal can no longer be maintained with the use of regular pornography.

Like having a drink, or smoking a joint, occasionally at a party becoming a daily habit, leading to something a bit stronger as you become more tolerant, searching porn on the web can lead to dangerous places, even without conscious intent.

And even just stating that defence-for-the-indefensible here, feels risky. Downloading indecent images of children is wrong, we all know that. But still, porn is the elephant in many millions of people’s living-rooms. What if the secret got out? What if you were arrested for it?

Worse still, what if you were arrested for downloading indecent images of children and were totally innocent.

How sure are you that if your computer was taken and subjected to microscopic IT forensic examination, which even uncovers deleted files, there would be no tiny trace of any pop-up, or underage image, lurking in the hidden depths of an apparently emptied recycle bin. Max was adamant there wasn’t. He was a schoolteacher, for chrissakes!

DCI Aria Dedrick was equally adamant there must be, because she’d had a tip-off, even if there wasn’t any immediate evidence, because in her game, there was no smoke without fire. And she was determined to prove it, for professional, and personal, reasons.

Aria had seen it all before. Comfortable middle-aged middle-class professionals swearing blind till the cows come home that they were innocent, until they couldn’t deny it any longer, and often broke down in tears, begging for mercy, as if her routine questioning were torture to them.

But Max was different. He wasn’t about to take it lying down. He wasn’t just fighting DCI Dedrick, he was fighting the whole overwhelming systemic machinery that takes over as soon as you become a suspect of downloading indecent images of children, including Social Services; And their powers are almighty; practically outside the law; David versus Goliath.

From arrest-to investigation-to trial, we follow Max through his heart-wrenching and soul-searching journey through the legal labyrinth to defend his innocence, at all costs, making the ultimate sacrifices he must make, to save his family, his name and his future.

A white-knuckle ride that pulls no punches, and takes no prisoners, calls a spade a spade, and tells it how-it-is, this journey is not for the feint-hearted. It contains profanity, shocking police descriptions and references to porn, which are not in any way, shape or form gratuitous, as well as references to abuse, addiction, depression and suicide. There are few stories that tell it from both sides, but here we get it all, in a blow-by-blow diarized account, following Max and Aria, to uncover the truth on a personal, social and societal level.

The events take place between Wednesday, 11th July 2018 and Saturday 30th March 2019, and include what was happening in the world at that time, which may make you remember what you were doing while all this this was happening, like in some parallel universe, as if they were actually happening to you.

At 546 pages, The Knock, packs more than a punch for its weight over those life-changing eight months for Max. From happily married family man to social pariah. We never appreciate what we have, as the saying goes, until it’s gone. But sometimes the way you fight, even the very decision to fight, against such appalling charges as downloading indecent images of children, is the only way. However painful.

At least it was for Max.

And without doubt, DCI Dedrick, too.

It all starts with THE KNOCK: A True Story of an Innocent Man, a Twisted Accusation and the Fight for Truth.



Absalom, L (2021) Indecent Images of Children Offending and Suicide: D.Clin.Psy Thesis (Volume 1) University College London

Key, R., Underwood, A., Lawrenson, J., Hawton, K., Marzano, L., Kothari, R., Cresswell, L., &
Farnham, F. (2017). Managing perpetrators of child sexual exploitation and indecent
images of children (IIOC): Understanding risk of suicide. National Police Chiefs’ Council.

“Fast-paced, well-structured, ie. Part I:  Arrest; Part II: Under Investigation; Part III: Trial; Part IV: Sentencing, with chapter outlines. Well-written with dialogue-based scenes alternating between Max and Aria. Good understanding of legal procedures. Disturbing in places but warning given in preface.”

ARC Reviewer


“Oddly reminiscent of The Staircase in Max’s constant protestations of innocence, like Michael Peterson, and the detective’s relentless pursuit of evidence, with different, but similarly shocking, twists and turns. Enthralling and escapist fiction which rings true. This is an independent review based on a free Advanced Reader Copy (ARC).”

ARC Reviewer


“Intriguing, gripping and reads like a memoir, but hard to stomach in places, particularly police description of indecent images, perhaps necessary to the plot but I would have preferred less. Full of plot twists which keep you guessing until the climax.
Powerful potboiler.”

ARC Reviewer


“Gloriously alternative psychological crime thriller which you can just tell is a true story because as Mark Twain said, ”Truth is stranger than fiction, but it is because Fiction is obliged to stick to possibilities; Truth isn’t.’ A courageous examination of evil, truth and justice requiring a brave reader. Highly recommend.”

ARC Reviewer


“Astounding, revelatory and shocking exploration of someone accused of downloading indecent images fighting to prove their innocence, and the police investigation to prove them guilty. Reader’s loyalty is split between Max and Aria throughout, and left to draw their own conclusions about Justice following the sentencing. Very brave, honest and damning.”

ARC Reviewer


“The Knock is an easy, as in writing style, and not-so-easy, as in subject matter, read. It is definitely not your typical crime novel, as the protagonist and antagonist roles seem to swap as your sympathies switch, and more like a psychological thriller. Both lead characters are well-drawn, although I would have liked to learn more from the wife’s perspective.”

ARC Reviewer


“The Knock will appeal to anyone who’s been accused of downloading indecent images, as it is a bit like a roadmap for how to defend yourself and what to expect from all the agencies involved. I am not sure it has mass appeal to the general reader, nor whether that was really the author’s intent.”

ARC Reviewer


“Max is a sympathetic and unpredictable anti-hero, and Detective Dedrick is his well-rounded nemesis with her own flaws. I liked the balance between them, how neither could perceive the other above their own prejudices and yet both claimed the moral high ground. A complex and disturbing psychological novel which you wouldn’t share with your mother; a guilty pleasure.”

ARC Reviewer

“In a nutshell, this is Max, arrested for downloading indecent images, versus, Aria, the hero transgender detective, with necessary non-gratuitous descriptions of indecent images and some unnecessary gratuitous sex, both equally offensive, in spite of the caution given at the start. However uncomfortable, it is a page-turner with honest and unexpected twists which never feel contrived and keep you guessing until the end.”

ARC Reviewer



“The Knock isn’t for everybody, and it wasn’t for me. I found it incredibly upsetting, and lost all sympathy for Max when it switched to Detective Aria Dedrick’s P.O.V., which I never recovered from. I thought Max deserved the harshest sentence, like Aria, although her behaviour was nothing to be proud of either. I agree with the Judge that Winshire’s writing is ‘pornographic filth’ unjustified by flawed moralizing dressed up in psychological garbage. I hated it.”

ARC Reviewer



“Thought-provoking, moving and wildly passionate, almost fatally teetering on indecently describing indecency. It is a fine line the author open-heartedly and sensitively treads offering no easy answers but, for those of a stronger disposition, ultimately satisfying. Winshire, as his barrister suggests, is an outlier and if there is any justice, this will be a resounding success.”

ARC Reviewer


“Challenging, confrontational and conspiratorial. Sinister dark forces are seething and toiling beneath the surface of the everyday, erupting and overwhelming Max in a series of cacophonous catastrophes, more than most can bear. At times it feels too painful to read but you are pulled on by the power of the narrative. An outstanding achievement.”

ARC Reviewer


“I have been to prison and all I can say is Winshire has it coming to him.”

ARC Reviewer




“Fast-paced, well structured”, “Enthralling and escapist”,  “Intriguing, gripping and reads like a memoir”, “Gloriously alternative”, “Astounding, revelatory and shocking”, “a guilty pleasure”, “page-turner”, “Thought-provoking, moving and wildly passionate … ultimately satisfying”, “Challenging, confrontational and conspiratorial … An outstanding achievement.”


The Knock is guaranteed to change the way you look at life and make you grateful for the smallest things you may have always previously taken for granted, like your family, your job, your freedom, your liberty.

And when you come up for air, from exploring the hidden horrific depths of contemplating real depravity, you will realise more than ever how good you really are,

and how evil others may really be.

And ultimately be grateful it was all a bad dream.

Just a book. You will never ever forget.

Because it was real.


Sorry, was that a knock at your door?


Available 1st Oct 2023


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