STANDPOINT: Paperback, Derek Thompson
THE WRONG MAN IN THE RIGHT PLACE CAN MAKE ALL THE DIFFERENCE.
Thomas Bladen has been living a double-life for two years. He's a Civil Service photographer in London, but the Surveillance Support Unit has a much wider remit. It's staffed by ex-forces personnel, careerists, and Thomas. He has an eye for details that other people miss and a talent for finding trouble - a combination that was never going to bring him an easy life.
When Thomas witnesses a shooting at a routine surveillance operation and uncovers a web of deceit and treachery that people will kill for, can a good man hold the line without crossing it?
"Great read. Compelling characters. Cleverly constructed plot."
"What I like about British thrillers is that the great ones are realistic rather than glitzy. This story did not disappoint with its gritty detail and credible characters."
"Love the on/off relationship between Miranda and Thomas. There is clever interaction between them which at times is touching and often humorous."
A Word from the Author: Derek Thompson
I grew up in North East London and according to family legend, my brother taught me to read before I started school. I was one of those kids who lived for books and lived through them. Stories enchanted me and I'd make up my own, creating play characters with complicated histories, strengths and flaws. The first thing I saved up for when I got a job wasn't a car or a scooter or a decent set of clothes - it was a typewriter I bought in Stratford!
All my jobs were north of the river - making drugs (legal ones!) in Islington and Holloway Road, delivering milk in the East End, at a Civil Service desk at Holborn and near Liverpool Street, and finally in various roles for BT, before relocating to the West Country.
London never leaves you though. Its history and your own become intertwined like DNA. Our family home wasn't far from the final resting place of Mary Kelly, said to be Jack the Ripper's last victim. And a friend of our Dad's used to drive for the Krays. And Dolly Kray's mum was on my milk round - off the Old Ford Road - as was the old Bryant & May's factory (in what is now called Bow Quarter). I remember spending one Christmas Eve with friends in a pub in Hackney, where a bloke leapt the bar to take a boil off someone's face with a broken glass just because the barman came from another part of Scotland. Fortunately, no blood was spilled. No police were called either. Different times.
Aside from writing novels I've had some short stories published in obscure anthologies, a few gags on radio and performed life, and I wrote a piece for The Guardian about my brother.
I've been a huge fan of film noir since I first saw The Big Sleep and the genre is a massive influence on my Spy Chaser thriller series, published by Joffe Books. A lot of my fiction involves death, loss or secrets. As the saying goes, write about what you know.
London Crime evokes a slice of London we hope never to encounter in our own lives - the shadow side of every great city. Even so, good people that we like to think we are, we're fascinated by those margins of society where we glimpse, perhaps, a sliver of our own darkness. Nice work, Jim!
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