A little bit of noir here today, I have an excerpt from Crack, Apple & Pop before you get a bit of a peek into the novel here is what the book is about.
Tony is a handsome young boxer forced into a life of crime after suffering a vicious blow in the ring.
Seduced by the glitz and glamour of London and mentored by charismatic gang lord Don March he rises rapidly up the crime ladder until he spies an opportunity to start a semi-legit Natural Highs business.
Bankrolled by an eccentric British dandy and accompanied by a cast of starry misfits including a 3ft tall blue-haired money man, an Etonian drug mule, two dominatrix debt collectors, a dodgy lawyer and a host of demi-celebs, Tony carves out a roll for himself in a city where money creates its’ own morality.
All seems to be going well until in the shadows, a Bollywood mobster threatens to derail their plans.
Chaos ensues, of course it does – wonderful, beautiful, visceral chaos.
The deft wit of Hammett meets the vivid poetics of Chandler: Crack Apple and Pop is slick smart and razor sharp. A gritty and sometimes metafictive slice of London noir.
A city of artful dodgers, yardie gangsters, kinky aristos, cocaine dusted starlets and social thrill seekers where everyone’s hustling and everyone’s getting high.
Whether it’s law, finance, the music biz, or the boxing ring: money is king. And only the ones prepared to risk everything will survive…
Tim was still smarting from his sodden encounter with Jez. Bellyaching in the dark. ‘Fucking vogue reject noisy money moron – choppy haired prat. Treated me like a prize chump. I’ll just fuck the night away with a coke slut.’ Jez was just the tipping point of a litany of grievances Tim had. He wanted to forget about it all.
3:00am: There was no one around except Tim who was prowling the neighbourhood looking for sex.
He pulled up in Inverness Road, Camden. Unbeknown to him the local dibble -dicks were on standby scanning the area for street strumpet, speed freaks and pill poppers. Tim rolled down his car window and approached a familiar working girl she was twiggy thin with blonde hair and blue bug eyes.
‘Fifty for a BJ and two hundred for the full service behind closed doors.’
‘I’m gagging for a fix mister so you either pay up or piss off.’
Just then a police officer swooped in.
‘Hello miss how have you been?’
‘Yeah okay. A bit hungry -that’s all.’ She sniffed loudly. Her hands were shaking and she had a pink skin rash on one side of her face.
‘Can I have a quick word with you Miss?’
‘I’m letting you go with a warning tonight okay?’
The policeman turned his attention to Tim:
‘Hullo there Sir.’
Tim stared ahead without acknowledging him.
‘What’s gone on here is that I spotted you approaching a known prostitute and…’
Before he could finish Tim blurted out:
‘We’re all prostitutes officer. We’re all selling ourselves for something. Even you – for your pension in the sun and your gold retirement watch. There’s a pleasing candour to what I was about to do. I was going to be an MP (Member of Parliament) an MP…’
‘Yes sir, do you understand what you’re being arrested for and that the arrest is by way of summons and that you must turn up to court to answer those summons?’
‘If I hadn’t had that silly affair I would be on track to the House of Commons officer, do you understand that?’
The police officer continued filling his forms in and Tim bluffed his contact details.
‘The summons will be sent to the address you’ve just provided sir and it’s likely you’ll be facing a fine, I now have to ask you to kindly leave the area sir.’
Tim skulked off into the shadows muttering:
Morality is nothing but freedom; with money, you can create your own morality.
If you want to find out more then here are the other stops on the blog blitz for Crack, Apple & Pop…
Saira Viola is an acclaimed novelist, poet, and song lyricist. From her early poetic experimentation with language, image and sound (a technique she has dubbed sonic scatterscript) to her novelistic ventures into the dark, absurd world of contemporary crime fiction, Viola’s work pulses with iconoclastic brio that mischievously blasts the golden calves of our times. Literary Heavyweight Benjamin Zephaniah, has praised her ‘twisted beautiful imagination,’ and polymathic genius, Heathcote Williams (RIP) her ‘hypnotic explosive’, writing style. Twice Nominated for Best of The Net 2017 Pushcart Prize Nominee 2017 Rascal Magazine. Viola’s poetry collection Flowers of War debuted at the New York Poetry Festival and published by UB Press. Novels Jukebox (Fahrenheit Press) Crack Apple and Pop (Fahrenheit Press) Viola is a regular contributor to counterculture magazines Gonzo Today and International Times.