Post-adolescent grunge fiction… enter, one teenage blackmailer, one troubled band frontman, one questionably unresolved suicide, and an alternative religious history, for an irreverent and unpredictable swipe at youth culture, and the power of the small-time Media.
As the town’s most notorious blackmailer, 19-year-old Kim Blackshields has plenty on her plate. Unscrupulous journalists trying to rummage through her stuff, two best friends and blood brothers whose main hobby is tapping phones – even in cohorts with the local police – and a younger brother also into blackmail, whose friends seem to think she’s an easy target. And the small matter of the Halloween fiasco…
When the youth club Halloween event has to replace the live band at short notice, Kim tracks down The Hellraisers to step in, fronted by the charismatic, Harley-riding Alastair Brash. Who manages to live up to their name.
Not that anyone’s complaining. The youngsters of Jericho already know far too much about explosives and burying things under concrete, and day-to-day Satanism is a way of life – even if no-one practises much these days (there’s always the goat pinata to look forward to on Black Mass). There’s just an ongoing drama in the local Press about an unresolved ‘suicide’ of a young model, and who they’re likely to pin the blame on.
But when the Halloween party ends violently and abruptly, and Alastair disappears leaving behind a large puddle of blood, it looks like there’s more to this town than just nosey hacks and blackmail… Contains adult humour.
When not on duty in her paying job, she’s still under surveillance by more satellites and on-site hardware than you can shake a stick at. Although she does believe that most of it is to watch her trying on shoes, while head office attempt to persuade her to to put on a Catwoman outfit.
In the meantime, her friends are off in various fantasy worlds of their own. Not always healthy ones, especially when they run the risk of crossing over into her more dangerous one. The problems for Lara really start when head office bring a wingman into the picture. Once they agree on a colleague, Connor, to help out on the local To Do List of ‘Hollywood Hit-Men’, it’s her own grip on sanity she’s concerned about. Never mind what the agenda is for assigning him. Or what his own agenda might turn out to be. (Book One & Book Two included)
Now in print: Death & The City Books One and Two combined in a single volume with the addition of bonus material in the form of the original feature screenplay, ‘Heavy Duty’ written in 1999 by the author.
When she’s not under surveillance by head office, Lara spends her time juggling a night job in bar security, an only child with a zombie fixation, and what passes for a social life in the small hours in between. And there’s also the matter of ongoing internal scrutiny, by her own highly self-monitoring personality disorder.
And her new wingman, Connor, has another agenda of his own. Rather than the one she’s concerned about, which is that head office are trying to gain more blackmail leverage. When they’re not trying to get her to recruit more ‘Deathrunners’ or to send them photographs of herself dressed as Catwoman trying on shoes.
Lisa Scullard won Raindance’s Live!Ammunition!! in London 1999 pitching the screenplay ‘Heavy Duty’ and received Honourable Mention in the 2013 Jeffrey Archer/Kobo contest.
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