AUTHOR Deric Henderson has spoken of his “astonishment” at the huge surge in interest in his book about murderous Ballymoney dentist Colin Howell after Netflix began screening the TV series.
he 2016 ITV series, The Secret, which stars James Nesbitt in the lead role, was bought by Netflix earlier this year and they say it’s already one of their most-watched programs among their millions of viewers. subscribers.
And the Netflix screenings also provided major spinoffs for Henderson in sales of his book, Let This Be Our Secret, about Howell and his former lover Hazel Stewart, which was first published in 2011.
The Omagh-born writer says: “Sales have really picked up, especially online. Netflix has given Howell and Stewart’s amazing story a whole new audience.
“And several national newspapers noted the remarkable response to the tragedy. Viewership figures for The Secret on ITV were extremely high but it seems many people didn’t see it the first time and they were shocked by the gruesome murders and wondered how they could have been perpetrated by a man and a woman. who were so-called Christians.
“I never imagined there would be such a reaction all these years later, but this just shows how powerful Netflix is.”
The four-part series which also stars Genevieve O’Reilly as Hazel Stewart was filmed in Northern Ireland by Hat Trick Productions and tells how Howell’s wife Lesley and Stewart’s police husband Trevor Buchanan , were killed by their wives at their home in Coleraine in May 1991.
Howell (63), who began an affair with Stewart when they were worshiping at a church in Coleraine, then left the bodies in a smoke-filled car in Castlerock and police were tricked into concluding the murdered couple were dead after making a suicide pact.
Almost two decades passed before the shocking truth was revealed after Howell went to the police station and confessed to the murders. He was jailed for 21 years and later testified against former Sunday school teacher Stewart (59), who was convicted of the murders in 2011.