Showing posts from 2018

from THE GREY AREA: The marsh trip

The bus stop at the Barbican Gate, five minutes’ walk from the Dead Level Business Park, and just past the fork in the road by the abandoned Barbican inn, was deserted. The glass of the panel on the stop sign where the timetable should have been affixed was missing – indecipherable, faded graffiti occupying that space – but undoubtedly the bus departing the Sanctuary CafĂ©, Deadmans Beach, at 16:35 – that is to say, two hours later than the service that might have been caught by Edith Watkins on that fateful March day a year and six weeks previously – was due any minute.       The time difference was intended to allow for the change in sunset time, including the introduction of daylight saving, since then. Sunset would have taken place around six o’clock then, and soon after eight now.       But the weather was overcast.       A small velvet bag containing two dice was extracted from a left-hand pocket. The dice were rolled on the low brick wall that bounded the narrow pavement.    


Before I continue posting extracts, here's a bit about my book: The Grey Area is a novel of approximately 93,000 words, divided into thirteen chapters. Although in part it uses the tropes of detective fiction, and is subtitled “A Mystery”, it is not a conventional crime or mystery novel. The narrative is set in a fictional landscape, but one which will be familiar to those acquainted with coastal locations in Sussex and Kent. Most of the action takes place between the village of Deadhurst and the nearby settlement and fishing community of Deadmans Beach, with excursions into the marshlands beyond. The central characters are: •    Phidias Peralta, a private detective, who is living illegally in a unit within the Dead Level Business Park, and appears to be fleeing some private demons from his past. •    Lucy White, his assistant, a single mother living in Deadmans Beach with her seven-year-old son George. The story proceeds by way of three “modes”, which alternate: 1.    T

from THE GREY AREA: The Old Dick

I've abandoned this blog for over a year, but ... My latest novel, The Grey Area , has been completed for a few months now. I'd hoped Unthank Books, the publishers of Country Life , would take it on, but it appears they are no longer commissioning new single-author books, although they have not said so publicly. Looks like the same story elsewhere in independent publishing. Very gloomy. Anyway, while I investigate other ways of publishing this book, which I'm very happy with, I'm going to post extracts here. This first one you can also find in the latest, terrific issue of Golden Handcuffs Review , which is my novel's first appearance of any sort in actual print on actual paper. But check out that issue also for the David Antin feature, for poems by Maurice Scully and Alice Notley, the latest instalment of Peter Quartermain's memoir, and, may I modestly add, my own appreciation of the late, great David Bromige. I am also honoured to be sharing page space wit