Monthly Archives: November 2013

Those Weird Non-Bryant & May Novels

Another reader has asked about the strange relationship of my earlier novels to the Bryant & May series. Let me see if I can untangle this particular rat king and make some sense of it all. In the beginning was Sergeant Ian Hargreave, who turned up in ‘Roofworld’, along with Butterworth, his sidekick, who suffered […]

Re:View – ‘We Steal Secrets: The Story Of WikiLeaks’

I missed this in cinemas, so now is a good time to catch up. It’s a documentary about the biggest war in the world; not the Afghan war, but the information war, and who gets to control the first global system of mass communication. The story starts with the history of a minuscule website dedicated […]

The ‘Roofworld’ Effect

When I wrote ‘Roofworld’ I think this is the feeling I was trying to capture. I know it has been around for a little while but it still makes me feel ill watching it. It’s quite amazing what the human body can do…if I could only get the effect into my writing I’d be a […]

A Writer’s Life No.6: Dropping Through The Glass Floor

In this month’s issue of ‘Black Static’ magazine, the genre author Stephen Volk releases an angry polemic about what looks to be an increasingly disastrous future for writers. Having just returned from dealing with the BBC executives, he points out that their training managers – brought in to teach them how to make decisions (as […]

A Writer’s Life No.5: Keeping An Ear Open

I overheard this on the tube yesterday. ‘I was hosting a health talk show, sort of like Dr Miriam Stoppard, and I’d taken so many pills I had no idea what I was saying.’ ‘Oh? I trod on her foot once, you know.’ I love overhearing odd snippets of conversation. Joe Orton was famous for […]

Just How Old Are Bryant & May?

  Cary Grant was once sent a telegram, ‘How Old Cary Grant?’ To which he replied, ‘Old Cary Grant Very Well Thanks.’ Reader Jane Abbott says: ‘I’m curious to know how old Bryant and May are in the present day? I’m new to them, and I’m on my third book – Seventy Seven Clocks – and […]

London Shoots Itself

If you’re looking for the exact spot where Kenneth More’s vintage car got its wheels stuck in the tram lines, losing him the race (South side of Westminster Bridge, if memory serves) in the film ‘Genevieve’, or need to know where the invisible tennis match took place in ‘Blow Up’ (Charlton Park, the court is […]

5 Unusual London Objects No.7 (Animal Edition)

1. The Lions New York is your go-to city for gargoyles, but if it’s lions your after, there are approximately 10,000 of them dotted around the place. Some have wings, some are on Britannia’s helmet, some are sleeping or sad, some hold shields or wear crowns. Some are roaring, many are on pubs. There’s one […]

Re:View – ‘The Scottsboro Boys’

The irony won’t have been lost on the cast currently appearing at the Young Vic in Waterloo. Eighty-two years and eight months after they were framed for supposedly raping two women on a Memphis freight train, justice has finally been served for all of the Scottsboro Nine, though none are alive to enjoy the moment. Alabama’s […]

Touchstone Movies No.2: ‘Brazil’

You have to love a film whose first line is; ‘I’d like to talk to you about ducts’. I first saw ‘Brazil’ on the day it opened at the Leicester Square Odeon and was blown away by it. Partly because it was the freewheeling riposte to Michael Radford’s laborious ‘official’ version of 1984 (the one […]