‘I hope that this book helps shed some light’ … James Patterson. Photograph: Taylor Jewell/AP

Days after the former American football star killed himself in prison, the bestselling thriller writer announces plans for a nonfiction study of ‘what went wrong’

Barely a week after the American football star Aaron Hernandez killed himself in prison, where he was serving a life sentence for murder, the bestselling novelist James Patterson has announced he is writing a true-crime book about the case.

Due for release in 2018, the creator of the Alex Cross thrillers said he would track the rise of the player from humble origins through a $40m (£30m) professional football career to his conviction for murder in 2015 and his death at 27. In a statement, Patterson’s US publisher Little, Brown said: “The nonfiction book will investigate the dramatic rise and fall of the football star, who left behind a murder sentence, a young daughter, and shocking secrets.”

In 2015 the former New England Patriots’ player was convicted of shooting Odin Lloyd, a semi-professional footballer. Hernandez killed himself on 19 April, just days after he was cleared of an unrelated double murder that took place in 2012.

Patterson said he had been stunned to hear of the player’s death. Though Hernandez’s life was marred by controversy, the crime writer added, he had risen from humble origins to be one of the biggest players in the game by the age of 22: “Along the way, his life spiralled out of control – and I felt compelled to ask: ‘What went wrong?’ I hope that this book helps shed some light on the events that led to his all too public and heartbreaking demise.”

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SOURCE: The Guardian