Rebecca’s unreliable boyfriend is trying to catch the Yorkshire Ripper. But a killer much closer to home is trying to murder her.

Three Steps Behind is a psychological thriller set in Yorkshire between 1979 and 1981. It tells the story of wealthy local business women, Rebecca Ferguson, who will need every ounce of her strength to deal with the life or death situation that is developing.

Three Steps Behind is currently out on submission. It was longlisted in the Novel category of the 2018 Yeovil Literary Prize. 

The house is silent when she unlocks the door. Rebecca knows her mother will be in Jon Peters furniture store. She goes straight into the front room where her father often sits reading. It is empty. She calls out to him. 


Three Steps Behind interweaves fact and fiction, layering a fictional story over the febrile atmosphere at the time of the Yorkshire Ripper. The novel also uses real and invented documents throughout the book. James' interest in social history and the position of women in society are also crucial to the narrative.