– ‘The Magic of Wor(l)ds’ blog is a hobby, reviews and other bookish stuff on this site are done for free. –
Today I’m on the ‘Twenty Sixteen’ blogtour, organized by Zooloo’s Book Tours.
To promote this book I have an excerpt, but before I let you read it first some ‘basic’ information.
About the Author :
Lee Bullman has something of a chequered past but he did once meet Michael Caine on a boat.
He is the author of the best-selling crime memoir Blowback, a collector of early 1960s R’n’B blasters and doesn’t really believe in anything.
When not writing he buys and sells antiques and loves a decent nineteenth century tapestry.
He has a son called Tom and lives with the visual artist Siena Barnes in the birthplace of the gothic imagination where they are restoring a nice old house and happily living the dream.
Two murders, committed over three decades apart, set in motion a modern noir detective story that plays out against the chaos of a Britain at odds with itself.
As Brexit bites and Britain begins to tear itself apart, DI Reider returns from a manhunt in Europe with a bullet hole in his shoulder and decides it’s time to retire from the force. But Reider hasn’t counted on his first case coming back to haunt him. He hasn’t counted on his career going full circle and he definitely hasn’t counted on Sasha Haye.
Angry and heartbroken, Sasha is seeking answers about the death of her boyfriend and Reider might just be the only person who can help her find them.
Against the backdrop of the referendum and its aftermath, the pair embark on a journey that brings them into contact with extremism, celebrity, politics and the world of vintage porn, as they attempt to unravel a murderous knot with threads that lead into the dark heart of the establishment, and a past which has a cold and unrelenting grip on the present.
Inna de boomtown
Coventry Central Police Station. Temporary Incident Room.
Sunday August 21st, 1982. 10.22pm
It’s riot night. We’re at the tail end of this long, hot summer and tensions have been rising since Spring, since the TV weathermen went to shirtsleeves and started using words like unprecedented and looking haunted and confused. We should have expected it, we should have seen the signs, read the runes, studied the entrails of dry, smashed birds on these grey city streets but now it’s too late and on the other side of town they’ve tied football scarves around their faces and gone into the homemade bomb business and taken us all by surprise. They’ve set the world on fire and Coventry nick is the first ring of hell.
Cold tea stagnates in the polystyrene cups with jagged half-moon bitten rims on desktops and filing cabinets and I’m the only man in the room not moving. Every other man in here is jacked up on hate and adrenaline, their rictus grimaces emerging here and there from the thick blanket of cigarette smoke hovering at shoulder height and staring at me without registering anything before sinking back into the fog.
The stuttering, percussive radio report emanating from wooden Philips speakers at the far end of the room is playing a running commentary from mobile units on the ground. Two hundred and fifty rioters are currently lighting up cars, tossing bricks through windows and looting shops along the length of the Foleshill Road. The tinny radio signal fights to be heard over the deep bass hum and fury of my esteemed colleagues, the policemen around me. All of them are gearing up for a fight, a ferocious buzz echoes through their demented hive, lit from above by six fizzing fluorescent tubes. Most of the forty-two officers, constables and recruits around me are wearing, carrying, or in the process of putting on matt black, padded riot gear, buckling buckles and tightening straps. The room is moving in slow motion and fast cuts. Some of the men in here are twenty-five years older than me but look like kids at a dressing up box getting ready to play war. A few of the telescopic batons and plexiglass shields are still smeared red with the blood of miners and hippies following recent outings to peace camps and picket lines. I stand amongst them like a ghost and the wall speaker feeds back with this ear-splitting high octave burst of fuzz and static and slices the room in half. The voice that emanates from the speaker belongs to Dave Housman, local copper, young, in the uniform for three months at most. He’s out of control, the fear in his voice is palpable, his training has deserted him and procedure has been replaced by panic.
“Oscar three nine, we’re at… at the corner of the Foleshill Road and Ryton Way, there must be fifty of them, they’re coming from everywhere… we need help, this is just…”
There’s another burst of static until Dave Housman’s hoarse, desperate cries mix with those of the other two officers with him in the car and cause everyone around me to freeze.
“Petrol bombs! they’re lighting fucking petr…”
Then the screams of the policemen fill the car they’re in and the room I’m in as flaming glass bottles smash through the windows of their panda car. The radio falls silent. A palpable, shared hatred for whoever just did that envelops the room and makes whatever happens for the rest of the night personal. The hatred blocks out what little air there was in the room and it chokes me.
The Magic of Wor(l)ds