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Russell Mardell originally trained in film production, producing numerous short films and a forthcoming music documentary. He also writes for the stage and is a member of Salisbury Fringe in his hometown, which promotes new writing. His former books published by Matador include Darkshines Seven, Bleeker Hill and Stone Bleeding.
A pointed, wryly amusing look at relationships in the modern world. Ray is a cold caller, he lives in London with his best friend Danny, and is still mourning the break up of his relationship five years on. Anya owns a coffee shop in Salisbury, her friend Eva is an author of children’s books, yet she dislikes children intensely. When Ray cold calls Anya, a friendship develops, each coming to rely on the other. We hear from Ray, Anya, Danny and Eva, often learning more about each person from their friend, rather than from the person themselves. Russell Mardell manages the four tales with aplomb. From speed-dating to tomato-gate this is an amusing tale that bites (with barbed fangs). ~ Liz Robinson
Still reeling from the break-up with the love of his life, insurance firm cold-caller Ray English has become a bit of a screw up. Cynical and withdrawn, Ray is aimlessly drifting through life in London with his long suffering best friend, Danny. However, once he is asked to reform his college band for a friend's wedding, Ray is soon forced to face up to his old life, and the hometown he had tried so hard to turn his back on. Anya Belmont is a woman with a secret and a history that continues to shape her life. A coffee shop owner in Salisbury, Anya is successful, yet bored; married, yet lonely. She is also slowly being driven to distraction by her highly temperamental friend, the child-hating children's author, Eva Cunningham. Through fate, coincidence or just bad timing, Ray and Anya's lives begin to change when Ray cold-calls Anya and the two strike up a seemingly innocuous conversation. Against their better judgement, their conversation is soon the start of a relationship played out over the phone. But can there ever be anything real in a phone call? A sharp-witted, saccharine-free, thoroughly modern tale of lost loves and found friendships.
Great Britain has broken. The government has imploded and rioting and anarchy have been commonplace for a long time. In the fallen cities and the desolate countryside, people cling to new lives, found and forged amidst the chaos. Stepping into the void of power, a mysterious group known only as 'The Party' are attempting to restore order however they can. Eighteen year old Mia Hennessey, along with her faithful dog Blarney, walks the empty roads and lives her life in the broken cities. Hunted by The Party and haunted by a place called Bleeker Hill, Mia finds herself strangely drawn to the outskirts of City 17, a dangerous place where her past and present will collide, and a dark and deadly mystery will slowly unravel. As a cold-blooded assassin closes in and The Party start to set their traps, Mia, Blarney and five strangers find themselves bound together by an old nightmare. A horror born from a place called Darkshines...
Britain of the not-too-distant future is a country at war with itself. After years of anarchy and chaos, bloodthirsty gangs and citywide destruction, The Party are now fighting to restore order through whatever means necessary - the fist, the bullet and even the terrifying practice of The Wash. It is a war between the lawless and their self-appointed judges, and neither side will relent until the other is destroyed. After an attack on their headquarters, a small band of Party members flee across the country, seeking refuge in a safe house deep in the snowy forests around Bleeker Hill. But as they near their destination, it soon becomes clear that the enemy they are running from may not be the biggest threat they will face. Because Bleeker Hill is far from safe... and they are not alone. As night closes in and the tensions within the group threaten to spiral out of control, each of them is soon forced to face a nightmare from which it might not be possible to escape. Bleeker Hill has a dark history and many stories to tell, and it will be heard... Bleeker Hill is a fast-paced thriller dealing with the dynamics of a strange dystopian society that blends into a paranormal horror story. It will appeal to fans of both of these genres, and will also be enjoyed by fans of Russell's first books, Silent Bombs Falling on Green Grass and Stone Bleeding, the second of which Bleeker Hill can be read as a follow-up to. The book also takes inspiration from George Orwell's 1984 and The Shining by Stephen King.
Britain has broken. Anarchy and mayhem have finally become a way of life. The system has shut down and politics has imploded. Even being famous doesn't mean as much as it once did; nowadays it's friend vs. friend, celebrity vs. celebrity and reality vs. fiction. But even in hell, there are love stories left to tell... Meet Zach, Albie and Archie, three nobodies with something to say; the private detective on a case that threatens his own sanity, TV's former golden girl who just wants out, and the voice of the people, now the country's most wanted man. A trio of interconnected lives and loves recounted in reverse and wrapped around the dark mystery of a country at war with itself. Through their reflections, confessions and memories, a chillingly twisted portrait of a world, not too dissimilar to our own, is slowly revealed. Blending satire with unsettling drama and with a wicked streak of humour, Stone Bleeding is a story of worth amongst the worthless, hope amongst the hopeless and love amongst the loveless.