Monthly Archives: November 2018

‘Bryant & May: The Lonely Hour’

I was planning to do a nice reveal of the new artwork for ‘Bryant & May: The Lonely Hour’, which is coming to you on March 21st, but my publisher beat me to it by putting the art on Amazon. But I have a nicer, bigger version, and the original sketch. The story takes place […]

Movie Locations No.2: ‘Wake In Fright’

Kenneth Cook’s book ‘Wake In Fright’ is a reminder that a short sharp shock of a novel can be infinitely more memorable than a 400-page thriller. Also known as ‘Outback’, it presents the Australian wilderness as a Dantean cauldron where men’s worst instincts surface. It’s a deeply uncomfortable but highly vivid read. Kenneth Cook is […]

New Ways Of Seeing Conflicts

There’s a bit of a war theme running through my head this week because of the Armistice commemorations, and the sense that the passing of one hundred years since ‘the war to end all wars’ might bring some sense of closure. I hadn’t watched the BBC documentaries made by Adam Curtis about post-war life for […]

Thud & Blunder In The Theatre

Theatres have a unique place in British history and remain a sacrosanct and vital part of our culture, moreso than in any other country. There are 230 of them in London alone. Old buildings have been repurposed to create new places for fringe productions, but new large theatres also get built. The Other Palace opened […]

A Richer Dust

If I should die, think only this of me: That there’s some corner of a foreign field That is for ever England. There shall be In that rich earth a richer dust concealed; A dust whom England bore, shaped, made aware, Gave, once, her flowers to love, her ways to roam, A body of England’s, […]

Movie Locations No.1: The Possession Of Joel Delaney

  LOCATION: New York City FILM: ‘The Possession Of Joel Delaney’ This is a new occasional column dedicated to films that bring places to life. In the CV of the actress Shirley MacLaine are a few surprises. One of them is a supernatural story that has grown in stature and power over the passing years. […]

The Final Remembrance

With Remembrance Sunday approaching, the Tower of London has chosen to stage another respectful, spectacular display commemorating the fallen of WWI. Its astonishing installation of handmade poppies, forming a sea of scarlet around the Bloody Tower was named ‘Blood Swept Lands and Seas of Red’, a public art installation created in the moat between July and […]

Thinking Slightly Too Hard About A Disney Classic

  Writers don’t sit down to enjoy films in quite the same way as civilians. We get distracted by mis-en-scene, subtext, plot holes and red herrings. We watch out for foreshadowing, signalling and dialogue that’s too on-the-nose. As a result, we tend to prefer ‘Chitty Chitty Bang Bang’ over ‘The Lion King’ because the former […]

A Model For British Bookshops

The Mysterious Bookshop, now on Warren Street in New York, has been going since 1979 and is run by the avuncular Otto Penzler. This makes it the oldest mystery specialist book store in America. It’s a treasure trove of mysteries old and new – a niche market that’s run buy experts in the field, and isn’t […]

There’s More Than One Way To Read A Book

Back in 2009 I interviewed my editor at Penguin Random House on the confusing subject of book sizes and shapes. Simon Taylor told me: ‘In the UK, the large size is generally referred to as B format. Trade paperbacks tend to be larger still – Royal octavo or Demy formats. But in the US they […]