ROBERT JAMES MITCHELL was brought up in Stirling where he attended Riverside Primary school between 1972 and 1979 before moving onto Wallace High School.
Having developed a keen interest in history from an early age, especially medieval history, Mitchell regularly corresponded with the Scottish historical novelist Nigel Tranter during his teenage years in the mid-eighties. He graduated MA Honours in British, European and Scottish Medieval History from Glasgow University in July 1989 and joined Strathclyde Police, on July 31, 1989.
Mitchell was initially detailed beat duties out of the former Blackhill Police Office and then Baird Street Police Office in the former ‘D’ Division, or the North, as it was known to all the men who served in the division. The author still cherishes his first set of shoulder numerals which were D325.
RJ Mitchell joined the Community Police Department at Baird Street, ‘D’ Divisional HQ, on January 19, 1984, where he was detailed as Community Constable for Central Springburn with primary responsibility for policing of the Balgray Hill and Springburn beat areas and Stobhill Hospital. During this period Mitchell was also seconded on an aide attachment with CID in the Easterhouse and Springburn areas before returning to Community Policing in the Balornock Area.
In September 1998 Mitchell was seconded to the Community Involvement Branch at ‘D’ Divisional HQ, Baird Street where he undertook a number of roles, most notably as the Divisional Allocator to the Children’s Panel and Local Press Liaison officer.
A keen squash player, Mitchell captained the West of Scotland squash team at the British Inter District championships in Shropshire in 1998 and was selected to play for Scotland ‘A’ in the Home Internationals in Cardiff in May 1999. During his tenure as West of Scotland captain, Mitchell produced a number of articles for local publications such as the Bearsden and Milngavie Herald, The Glaswegian and the Glasgow Evening Times to help promote the region and raise sponsorship funds to provide playing kit.
In spring 2000 Mitchell was seconded to the Spotlight Consultancy Unit, Force Headquarters, Pitt Street where he remained for just under a year before transferring to ‘L’ Division and Alexandria Police office, in February,2001.
In August 2001, having already started to enjoy an increasingly successful freelance sports journalist career under the name of Bob James, which included exclusive interviews with Mike Tyson and Lennox Lewis, Mitchell resigned from Strathclyde Police and took up a full-time position as sportswriter with the Airdrie and Coatbridge Advertiser while continuing to freelance. In January, 2004, Mitchell formally joined the sports staff of the Glasgow Evening Times as a sportswriter where he continues to be employed with core responsibilities as the paper’s boxing and rugby writer and SPL football correspondent.
In January, 2007, while recovering from an appendicitis, Mitchell decided to write the first draft of ‘Parallel Lines: The Glasgow Supremacy‘, a crime thriller set in Glasgow in the recent past, drawing heavily on his own experiences and featuring the characters of Detective Sergeant Gus Thoroughgood and DC Kenny Hardie.
After a myriad of rejections the novel was published in spring 2011, by the Strategic Book Group, New York. In July, 2011, the ebook of the same novel was published by Fledgling Press of Edinburgh, for whom it is the top selling ebook.
In January, 2012, RJ Mitchell signed a contract with Fledgling for full rights to the follow up entitled ‘The Hurting: The Glasgow Terror’ which is scheduled to be published in all formats in July 2012.
Mitchell is currently working on the third of the series which has a working title of ‘The Glasgow Dynasty.’