Best of Year 2016

It’s a privilege to appear once on a year’s best list, so to have two books on Crime Fiction Lover’s top 5 books of 2016 is a real treat. Joel Sorrell isn’t the easiest man in the world to get along with, and he leads his readers into pretty bleak territory, but Sonata of the Dead […]

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Hell is Empty Teaser #3

I headed back to the car. Gone two a.m. I felt as if my internal clock had been overwound and dropped on the floor and kicked against a wall a few times. I wasn’t even sure what day it was. Only the Christmas lights shining in the houses parted by the M1 gave me any […]

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Hell is Empty Teaser #2

A stiff breeze, riddled with winter, tore through the exposed bones of the building. There were other giants rising in concert with this one. London, irked by the knowledge that it was a global shortarse, had decided to tilt for the heavens. Across the way the Splinter was nearing completion. Nearly 800 metres of glass […]

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Hell is Empty Teaser #1

I sipped my coffee while I flicked through the sheets, glimpsing ghosts. Nearly known names and addresses. Tip-of-the-tongue stuff. Slant-rhymes in a dissonant memory. Many of these people dead now. Many of these addresses turned to rubble or morphed into millions of tons of gleaming glass and steel. The misdemeanours on their criminal records, some […]

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OMOHO

Lancaster University, 1993. I’m in a class. It’s the creative writing MA. My tutor is Alan Burns. He wrote Europe After the Rain, Babel, Dreamerika! He was one of a group of experimental writers knocking around in the 1960s which included BS Johnson. Alan used to talk about cut-ups a lot. And he was fond of this exercise: choose […]

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Sonata of the Dead: Teaser #5

She wasn’t coming. Nobody was coming. Nobody I wanted to see, at least. All the lights went out. The departures board stuttered and died. I felt my back bristle. I moved out from behind the ticket machine and heard the consternation of staff on the platforms, and passengers cheated of their information. A fire alarm […]

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Sonata of the Dead: Teaser #4

She poured and I drank. She held her glass with both hands, like a child, and closed her eyes when she took her first mouthful. ‘Oof,’ she said. ‘That’s good.’ ‘That was the drink of a person who has just walked out of the desert,’ I said. ‘Feels like it. Had a tough couple of […]

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