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Award-winning comic crime author Peter Guttridge turned from the Daft Side to the Dark Side for his noir Brighton series - starting with City of Dreadful Night, The Last King of Brighton and The Thing Itself. He's been the Observer's crime fiction critic for the past eleven years so has read far more crime fiction than is good for him.
Everywhere newly-promoted Sarah Gilchrist looks, unsettling things are happening. A Wicker Man is burned on the beach at dawn with a body inside; a painting titled The Devil's Altar is stolen from the Brighton Museum; a vicar who casts out demons goes missing; and a rare medieval manuscript of the occult Key of Solomon is stolen from the Jubilee Library. Then Gilchrist's flatmate, Kate Simpson, discovers that acts of sacrilege and grave robbing have been routinely taking place in Brighton and the surrounding villages. And ex-Chief Constable Bob Watts is puzzling over inscriptions in his late father's books. Specifically, books by occult writers Dennis Wheatley, Colin Pearson - and the feared Aleister Crowley, cremated in Brighton in 1947.
Featured on The Book Show on Sky Arts on 17 May 2012. July 1934. A woman's torso is found in a trunk at Brighton railway station's left luggage office. Her identity is never established, her killer never caught. But someone is keeping a diary. July 2009. Ambitious radio journalist Kate Simpson hopes to solve the notorious Brighton Trunk Murder, and she enlists the help of ex-Chief Constable Robert Watts, whose role in the recent botched armed-police operation in Milldean, Brighton''s notorious no-go area, cost him his job.