Simon Michael is the author of the best-selling London 1960s noir gangster series featuring his antihero barrister, Charles Holborne. Simon writes from personal experience: a barrister for 37 years, he worked in the Old Bailey and other criminal courts defending and prosecuting a wide selection of murderers, armed robbers, con artists and other assorted villainy. The 1960s was the “Wild West” of British justice, a time when the Krays, Richardsons and other violent gangs fought for control of London’s organised crime, and the corrupt Metropolitan Police beat up suspects, twisted evidence and took a share of the criminal proceeds. Simon weaves into his thrillers genuine court documents from cases on which he worked on the big stories of the 1960s. Simon was published here and in America in the 1980s and returned to writing when he retired from the law in 2016. The first books in the Charles Holborne Series, The Brief and An Honest Man, garnered strong reviews for their authenticity and excitement. Simon’s theme is alienation; Holborne, who dabbled in crime and in serious violence before becoming a barrister, is an outsider both in the East End where he grew up and in the Temples of the Law where he faces daily class and religious prejudice. He has been compared to Raymond Chandler’s Philip Marlowe and Dashiell Hammett’s Sam Spade, honourable men surrounded by corruption and violence, trying to steer an honest course. The third book in the series, The Lighterman, will be published in June 2017.
Linda Regan is a successful actress. She has written all her life, but although had sold short stories for radio and magazines she struggled to get any of her novels published. Ten years ago she was abducted in her car at knife point. She decided to use the terror she experienced in a positive way and wrote her first crime novel: Behind You, a who dunnit set backstage in a pantomime, where a killer is on the loose. It was picked up and published. She has since written seven successful crime novels. Her latest, SisterHoods, is set on a crime-ridden high rise estate in South London, run by a girl-gang called the AlleyCats. Gang warfare is rife around their area, and owning a turf is a dangerous business, every other gang around wants it for its drug pickings, and are willing to kill to get it. And the police are desperate to get all the drug barons off the street. When murder raises its head, the AlleyCats play their most dangerous game yet. They take on the job of grassing to the feds. The stakes are high, but with fed-help they can protect the lives of the vulnerable young-uns on their estate as well as keeping their pensioners safe, and making money to build better and safer lives for the residents on the estate. But what about their own safety- the price of being a grass is death, and now there is a traitor in their camp.