I wrote a novel, ‘Solstice’, partly inspired by the claims about VIP child abuse rings. Finding out they were all lies led to me unpublishing the book. It’s taken the Metropolitan Police two more years to investigate some of the liars.
2015 isn’t likely to give us many more days as nice as today. So I got on the bike and went for a little ride- something I’ve consistently failed to do this year.
I followed a route I took several times last year- down to the Irwell, then upstream a way, freestyling the exact route on the many tracks available. If you’ve read Solstice, the weir above is the spot where the first body is found. In the story, it’s June, and the river is lower than this.
This rather lovely location is just over two and a half miles from where I live. Two and a half miles in the other direction is Manchester city centre.
At one point, the track got a little crazy. Lacking Boudicca style scythes on the bike, I worked a little way back and crossed the river on an old canal bridge nerby.
Having taken a photo of the weir where the body was found, I had to make it far enough upstream to get a shot of the location of the first murder, and opening scene, of Solstice. This track runs under the M60. I turned around and headed back along trails I didn’t discover last year. The ride was just under ten miles long. I did much longer ones last year when I was in the habit of heading out for a random ride most weeks. I need to get on my bike more often.
Solstice is no longer exclusive to Amazon and can now be found at Smashwords, who will also be distributing it to other ebook stores. To mark the release, the previous Rain and Bullets stories- So Much To Answer For and Tiger– are free at Smashwords. (They may become free at Amazon, once they notice the new prices.)
When I was plotting Solstice, I needed a secondary threat, something longer term than a killer on the loose, which could also go some way to explaining his actions. After doing some research, an organised paedophile ring run by influential people was my choice, for renewed relevance amongst other reasons.
I’m beginning to think that I should have aimed higher, and made a few of them MPs, or even Ministers. When I was doing my research, Leon Brittan’s name came up a couple of times, but I was wary of the claims against him, as they seemed just a bit too far fetched. Then he died not long after I’d published the story, and the allegations against him are out in the open again. Not only that, but the evidence that there was a high level cover up is more convincing too.
The Daily Beast has an article about it, and the Manchester Evening News has a report about how accusations about Cyril Smith were revealed to Thatcher when he was being considered for a knighthood. David Cameron wants to introduce a law to punish teachers, councillors and care workers who ignore evidence of child abuse. How would he feel about it being extended to cover more senior politicians and civil servants, I wonder?
The figure slumped against the concrete didn’t acknowledge the compliment beyond flinching away from the sound of his assailant’s voice.
Something heavy rumbled over the bridge above them at speed. Even as Saturday rolled over into Sunday, there were still vehicles on the motorway.
The bulky, black clad figure stood over his victim, blocking the view of anything but his dark shape. Danny registered, barely, the light rustling noise that accompanied his assailant’s movements, but he was even less able to understand it than he had been before the beating started.
“Of course, being so tough has just meant I had to hurt you more.”
It’s the Summer solstice.
Maria wants to find her cousin, who has been put into a children’s home run by a company called Vantage and disappeared.
Tomas wants to help Maria, and find out who Vantage are bribing to get all their contracts whilst he’s doing it.
Kay Wood has just landed her first ever murder case- a body pulled out of the Irwell with a strange symbol carved into his chest.
Irwin Baker has been called by his old boss at MI6, asking if he can help Manchester Police investigate a murder with links to killings in Iraq.
It’s going to be a very long day for all of them.
When Maria and Tomas find dark secrets in Vantage’s offices, they find themselves in great danger, hunted by a killer who leaves his signature in the bodies of his victims. Can Kay and Irwin get to them before the killer does?
Solstice is out now for the Kindle. It’s the second adventure featuring Irwin Baker, and finds him helping Greater Manchester Police investigate a murder with ties back to corruption in the early days of the occupation of Iraq. Taking place on the day of the Summer solstice, it’s a race against time to stop a killer with a grisly signature and uncover the horrors that go on behind the doors of a privatised children’s home.