Paul is the grandson of Jamaican immigrants who settled in Brixton in the 1950s; his father was a Petty Officer in the Royal Navy, who decided that he wanted his family to be settled in one place rather than follow him from port to port, choosing a small village in North Wales near his station at the time in Liverpool. Paul was the middle child of three, and didn’t initially intend to join the police – his view of law enforcement was strongly influenced by the Rodney King riots, and the failures to properly investigate the murder of Stephen Lawrence.
Then, his younger sister Trisha was abducted and murdered, and Paul’s view of the police was changed by the officers who supported his family, and who worked themselves into the ground trying to catch her killer. He joined the Staffordshire Police as a Special Constable a few months later whilst still a student at university, and transferred to North Wales Police as a fulltime PC after finishing his degree.
Currently Justifiable, but Paul’s earliest days as a Special Constable will soon be described in Hawthorns.
- Paul is a thorough, meticulous and methodical detective, but he’s also patient, observant, and persistent.
- No tolerance for fools. Paul holds his officers to a high standard, but holds himself to the same one.
- Willing to listen and be proven wrong, Paul also doesn’t see asking for advice to be a sign of weakness.
- Unafraid to call out discriminatory or racist behaviour against himself, or anyone else. Also the first to stand up for women or LGBTQIA people facing harassment, discrimination, or worse.
- Supportive and loyal to the officers working for him.
- Star winger for his school football team, and for the Nottinghamshire Police MCU team during his secondment.
- Very sarcastic sense of humour.
- Excellent taste in music.
- Snappy dresser.
- Strong moral centre. Paul tries to do the right thing even when it’s the hard thing.
- Reputation as a bit of a disciplinarian means that some of his officers don’t see him as an approachable boss.
- Not great at maintaining relationships. By In Murder’s Shadow Paul is still a bachelor at nearly forty, with two long term exes behind him; although they’re on good terms, he also barely speaks to his brother Henry.
- Terrible cook.
- Embarrassing Hot Fuzz poster in his bedroom.
- Paul’s only surviving relatives are his older brother Henry, and Henry’s two children. His younger sister Trisha was the fourth victim of the serial killer known as the Shadow Stalker, and his mother Doreen died a few months after her. His father, Anthony, lived long enough to see Paul join North Wales Police.
- Anthony Quinn had only been to Wales once before he moved his family there. After a night out with his crew in Liverpool, he boarded the wrong train and ended up in a village called Hope in Flintshire. After being given a hearty free breakfast and some ribbing about England’s Five Nations results, he left it convinced that he wanted to move his family to it.
- Paul was the first, and so far only, member of his family to go to university, although Trisha would have probably followed him if she’d lived. He graduated from Keele with a double first in psychology and criminology.
- Paul did accept the George Medal he was awarded following the Alexander Kirk shooting, but his conflicted feelings about Kirk’s death persisted for years afterwards, and he didn’t wear it for over five years. The first occasion on which he did was when Jenny Brown was presented with the Queen’s Police Medal for Distinguished Service.
- Paul left school barely able to order a cup of tea Yn Gymraeg. Jenny Brown, however, was raised bilingual and has prodded Paul into speaking conversational Welsh.
- Command of the language notwithstanding, Paul has always considered himself Welsh and supports the Welsh rugby team. But, like many proud Flintshire Welshmen, his football club was Chester City and is now Chester FC.
- Early in his career, Paul was actually quite a casual dresser, but started wearing tailored two-piece suits during his secondment in Nottingham. By the time of In Murder’s Shadow, few North Wales Police officers believe he owns anything other than tailored suits, and sightings of him at a barbecue garden party wearing an Iron Maiden T-shirt are treated as wild, unconfirmed rumours.
- Jenny Brown considers him to be the best detective she’s ever worked with.