Friday, 3 May 2013


My latest crime novel, Legally Bound, set in Regent's Park and the City of London is now available online at Amazon. The print version will be out later this year.

I conceived this story several years ago as a TV drama script, and encouraging noises were made about it by the BBC, but in the end - after two  years on option, they didn't produce it. So last year, I started writing it up as a crime novel. The key location is Regent's Park, the best park in London as far as I'm concerned. It was a cherished space for me to walk through on my way to work from Primrose Hill to Great Portland Street. At week ends, I hired a deck chair for the day and sunbathed, reading books and drinking cups of tea from the flask I brought with me. The gardens were my Riviera, full of characters - some of whom pop up in the background in this dark novel. A callous crime takes place in the park, although I always thought of it - and still do -  as a sanctuary....


Thursday, 28 February 2013


'Fatal Truths' my new psychological thriller and the last in the Louise Moon series is now available on Amazon Kindle. It's a brand new novel, published for the first time as an e-book by Endeavour Press.

Here's the link:


High Tory Honcho, David Cameron has refused to stand off on the so-called bedroom tax which will force people living in social housing who have a surplus bedroom into moving out and downsizing. The problem with that  is there is little surplus social housing for them to downsize into, and the government is thus going to have spend more on subsidising rents in the private sector. Chancellor Osborne is already borrowing a billion pounds more than Gordon Brown did, in spite of all these Tory cuts and 'austerity measures'. Where is this borrowed money going?  Brown borrowed to sustain the welfare state which Cameron et al are bent on destroying at the expense of the poor and the disabled. The bedroom tax has provoked outrage on the part of medical and social care charities working with disabled adults and children, so Cameron said he would look at each case on an individual basis.That's a lot of cases - 120,000 and counting (Channel 4 News 28 February). To take up the slack, the government are now going to allocate  £30 million to local councils to set up and administer assessment procedures for the individuals subject to the new policy. That's a waste of money and a laughable game of politics by anybody's book. Lord Freud, the minister responsible for steering through the new changes, had nothing to say but 'Erm' to the reporter who finally caught up with him from Channel 4. Too posh to be interviewed, the Tories always seem to run and hide behind vague statements and airy-fairypromises. Freud and Cameron need a good stuffing from Jeremy Paxman.  Only lunatics would elect these people to a second term. They've messed up the economy and,worse than that, they've cut the safety net for vulnerable people. Aneurin Bevin must be turning in his grave.

Saturday, 19 January 2013


The horsemeat-in-burgers scandal (UK news reports 17 January) reminded me of the time I was unwittingly served horse steaks by an Anglophobic medical student in France - she had heard all the frog and snail jokes wafting over the English Channel. She shared an apartment with my French 'sister' and insisted on cooking one evening. The first course was good - tuna and sweetcorn vinaigrette, which I had never tasted before, although the tuna and sweetcorn combo has since become a nasty staple in British sandwich fillings found on supermarket shelves. The second course was fillets of steak, still bleeding. I took a couple of bites, then Brigitte stared at me in triumph: 'Tu aimes les cotes de cheval?' I didn't rise to it, of course. I just carried on eating, and the meat tasted pretty much like beef. I haven't eaten it since though for the same reason I won't eat veal (which is delicious) or lamb: I rode ponies and horses when I was a child and don't like the idea of eating one. They were my friends, and I don't eat my friends... I see the spring lambs in the fields and weep over what is to come to them. This is just sentimental claptrap of course because I eat cows, pigs and chickens, which have a far worse life in industrialised sheds than many horses and lambs, gambolling in the fields and salt-marshes.

What struck me about the reports was the word 'contaminated' because I suspect the horse DNA found in the burgers is far less 'contaminating' than the revolting sludge recovered from meat carcasses that constitutes the ingredients for most supermarket pies, sausages and burgers. Down the street where I lived in Paris was a 'boucher chevaline' which did a good trade with the people in the quatrier..  I walked past the horse's head on the sign every day on my way to the market but bought my 'viande hache' (steak mince) from the general butcher further down. I would never buy supermarket mince - not even Marks & Spencers which purports to be free range or organic. The safest bet is to make home-made burgers with beef from the local butcher, raised and slaughtered locally and ground in the mincer in the butcher's shop. That is the way it used to be in the time of rationing during the Second World War when the British diet was purported to have been then healthiest it has ever been. I remember the mincer and sausage machine at the local butcher near where I grew up, and the grocer slicing huge joints of boiled ham and farm-made cheese. Today, we eat plastic-wrapped  shit. There is no other word for it. There are so many chemical contaminants  and salt and sugar additives in British food, it is hardly surprising that we are the fattest nation in Europe, although the continentals, feeding increasingly the American way, are catching up.

Bottom line: I'd rather eat a bleeding 'cote de cheval' than a Tesco burger or pie.

photo: Richard Faisey