Picture the scene. The detective walks into the bar and approaches the femme fatale. Very Bogart and Bacall. He offers her a cigarette, then lights it for her. Yaaawn… I have read so many thrillers recently which would have been two chapters shorter if the lead characters didn’t smoke. Descriptions of people fiddling with cigarettes,... Continue Reading →
It was not quite déjà vu at this year’s Bristol Crimefest as the venue had moved to the Marriot Grand. The hotel was closer to the historic heart of the City, so was a welcome change, allowing a little exploration in each break and a different selection of local restaurants to sample, where I tasted... Continue Reading →
My Voice it Made an Avalanche
Fiona Apple’s song ‘Container' opens Showtime’s The Affair, which is in its 4th season. My voice it made an avalanche/ and buried a man I never knew/ And when he died his widowed bride/ met your daddy and they made you. The show itself riffs on that avalanche we can start by carelessly kicking a few... Continue Reading →
From Book to Film
I’m one of those people who gnashes their teeth at historical travesties in movies, or novels for that matter, so I’ve held off seeing The Guernsey Literary & Potato Peel Pie Society until the initial excitement died down. The book raised some heckles in the island as the setting portrayed wasn’t 'Guernsey' enough. One handicap... Continue Reading →
The Twitter Campaign
So I’m trying something different, a Twitter Campaign. Mostly it is to test the water, see how effective it is. After all if the Russians can change the result of elections by mass tweeting, there must be some power in social media. Although it was my sixth novel Glint of Light on Broken Glass was... Continue Reading →
Anyone for Pie?
The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society is far and away the most successful novel set in Guernsey. Although there are easily two dozen works of fiction using the German Occupation of the islands as their background, this is the stand-out commercial hit. Curiously it was written by an American who had only made... Continue Reading →
Are we the good guys?
This month I visited the ‘War Remnants Museum’ in Saigon, formerly the ‘War Crimes Museum’ (and technically in Ho Chi Mihn City nowadays). The ‘war crimes’ of the USA, French and the South Vietnam regime are graphically illustrated with photographs and relics of torture, imprisonment, indiscriminate bombing, careless killings and trophy-collecting. It of course completely... Continue Reading →
Nazis – The Ultimate Villains?
We all hate Nazis, agreed? (If not, stop reading here). When I was a small boy, the 'Germans' were the baddies in our games, on TV shows and those stalwart WW2 films. Only when I began to study history properly did I understand the difference between the Germans as a people and Fascism as a... Continue Reading →
Rubber Duck Moment
Okay, I admit it. My work-in-progress contains a rubber duck moment. Codename NRT, the novel has a very short timeframe. There is no chance to get to know the characters before they are plunged into the mystery on page 1. Thumbnails must suffice until enough pages have been peppered with hints and clues from their... Continue Reading →
Thou Shalt Not Kill (part 2)
Having considered ‘Poor Decisions’ and the millennia-old revulsion against killing, let our thoughts turn to murder. The Sixth Commandment of God gave humanity an early steer that murder is a bad thing. Centuries of religious and moral codes have been reinforced by laws and penalties, backed up by law enforcement agencies which threaten... Continue Reading →