Playing catch up

Things move too fast for me sometimes in the digital age. In the past week or so I’ve had one new book out with Endeavour Press – Other People’s Blood – – written it up for Hufpo – – brought out a new edition of my thriller Kicking Off – – and got halfway through a new book about Nelson as a young captain in the West Indies (as yet untitled).

And I’ve only just got round to updating this blog. Bad, bad man.

Other People’s Blood is the most topical, because its publication coincided to within 24 hours with a Panorama special investigation into British Army ‘death squads’ in Northern Ireland in the 1970s. My book treats the death squads, which were heavily denied throughout the Troubles and beyond, as a given. The public suspected they existed, and many British journalists were certain of it. Some indeed, under the hammer of the Official Secrets Act, were actually told. And also told that they could not write about them. Such is Britain’s idea of an open society.

In the book they are the wallpaper, so to speak. It is the story of a wildly sexy Protestant girl called Jessica, whose father is a business man with deep and murky connections to the British government. He is supposed to be a member of another secret organisation believed to have existed in the Province under the name of the Brotherhood. A sort of Freemasons for the very rich and powerful. Protestant, of course.

Jessica is also engaged to a Brit, called Martin Parr. He swans around Belfast and beyond on some sort of business which he never specifies, not even to Jessica. Who, frankly, does not care. She’s at University in Manchester, where she has systematically screwed, and screwed up, half the department, including lecturers. Jessica is a thoroughly modern woman – and by English middle class standards pretty well beyond the pale. (Which is ironic, because within The Pale was where the Protestants lurked historically, and beyond it were the Catholics).

It is a young Catholic called Rory that Jessica meets and falls in love with, however. Properly in love, like she’s never loved before. And Rory is reputed to have connections with the Provies, the gunmen, the murderers. Whether it is true or not does not matter, of course. Once the ball is rolling, pushed and accelerated by both politics and jealousy, the love affair is doomed. It is like Romeo and Juliet on crack cocaine.

Of all my thrillers so far I think it’s my favourite.And it won’t even cost you three quid! Sadly, it costs several of the protagonists their lives.