Monday, June 29, 2009

Refreshed and relaxed.

Back from my holiday to find...nothing much has changed. There are still deep issues in Iran, the British economy is still punch drunk, the weather in Edinburgh is still grey and I still don’t have a firm date for the release of ‘The Missing.’ Being out in Marrakech I made sure I stayed away from the internet, in the desert I couldn’t get anything. No phone signal, no wifi, no electricity. In these instances I always expect something momentous to happen whilst I’m hidden from the world. I always think I’m going to get back to the UK and be asked, ‘have you heard the news?’, but it never happens. Even Michael Jackson waited until I returned.

So now I’m rested and ready for action. The holiday was excellent. We stayed at The Riad Dar One, run by a very nice French man and his two very large dogs. The hotel catered for our every need as well as providing us with a room on the top floor terrace that gave a view over the city.

In the desert we stayed at La Pause, which was both luxurious and primitive at the same time. With great views of the desert, this is the only time I’ve been able to use the term ‘an oasis of calm,’ in its truest form.

The people of Marrakech are friendly, the food was wonderful and the sun, very, very hot.

So now back to life and writing and trying to make some sort of career out of my humble works.

I'll put more photos up on my Flickr! stream.


I did a lot of reading whilst away and tried to get through a small chunk of the books that have grown next to my desk.

Already Dead is the first Joe Pitt novel from Charlie Huston. It’s a fast simply plotted book, part film noir, part horror. Pitt is, as the book title tells you, already dead; but he’s returned as a private eye for hire in a New York City split by vampire clan loyalty. It’s fast and furious and great fun to read, with some excellent lines. I will certainly be reading the rest of the series.

A Madness of Angels is Kate Griffin’s (better known as Catherine Webb) first book for adults. A bit slow to start but it builds into a wonderful urban fantasy. Griffin has created a magic which runs off the power, vitality and electricity of London city, with magicians becoming part of the urban experience. Unlike much of Urban Fantasy, which just plonks a magical story into a modern setting, Griffin has interwoven her novel with a modern essence completely dependent on urbanity and the interconnectivity of the modern world. The book riffs off Neverwhere, but it is its own work and one worth praising.

Carey’s ‘Thicker Than Water’, is the fourth in the Felix Castor series following the London freelance exorcist. As usual Felix is in hot water with everyone, but this time the world that Carey has created is changed as something new enters the fray, something which will make Felix judge what the return of the dead is all about. The novel doesn’t so much end but open up the saga for the next novel. Another good read.

MPD - Psycho Vol. 1 is the first in an ongoing Manga series that lead to a film in its native Japan. It follows Yousuke Kobayashi, a man suffering from multiple personality disorders, framed for a murder he is unsure he committed and now out of prison and joined to a ‘special’ police unit hunting dangerous serial killers. It’s brutal, perverse, gory and as with most Manga, slightly confusing as to what is happening, but at the same time contains brilliant off kilter ideas.

Read this week:

Already Dead by Charlie Hutson

A Madness of Angels by Kate Griffin

Thicker Than Water by Mike Carey

MPD - Psycho by Tajima and Otsuka

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