The Breaking of Liam Glass

BLURB AND BIO

 

The Breaking of Liam Glass – an extraordinarily prescient novel

 

Published 29 June 2017

 

Blub and author bio

 

The Breaking of Liam Glass

 

Published in June by Irish publisher Marble City, The Breaking of Liam Glass is not so much a whodunnit as a blackly comic what-they-did-after-it satire, that resonates in a timely way.

 

Teenage footballer Liam Glass is stabbed on an estate next to London’s Regents Park and, with an eye to the main chance, journalist Jason Crowthorne sets out to make the most of the story and build a crusade against teenage knife-crime.

 

In the following 24 hours, Jason creates his campaign, hiding a scoop from rival journalists and avoiding arrest. But other powerful figures are determined to exploit the boy’s story as much as they can, and they have fewer scruples! Liam Glass is a darkly satirical look at the deep splits in modern communities, asking deep moral questions in a sympathetic and humorous way.

 

http://www.thebreakingofliamglass.com

http://www.marblecitypublishing.com

 

Charles Harris bio

 

Charles Harris is an international award-winning writer-director and a highly-respected script consultant, writing and directing for cinema, television and theatre. He is also a best-selling non-fiction author with titles including A Complete Screenwriting Course, Police Slang, and Jaws in Space. Several of his short stories have been published, with two shortlisted for awards.

Charles has a black belt in Aikido and teaches police, security personnel and the public, self-defence against street violence, including knife attacks.

He has a wife and two cats who live with him in North London and two sons who don’t.

 

To find out more about Charles here are some links:

 

http://www.charles-harris.co.uk

Amazon.co.uk: http://amzn.to/2r8CDtf

Amazon.com: http://amzn.to/2qtCBbH

Twitter: @chasharris

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/charlesharris008

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7833372.Charles_Harris

Pinterest: http://www.pinterest.com/charlesharrispi/

PR: Linda MacFadyen Tel: 0191 280 1080  Mobile: 07768 3901 Email: LindaMacFadyenPR@virginmedia.com

The Breaking of Liam Glass

by

Charles Harris

Opening Chapter

 

I

Tuesday 8 pm

‘Every day’s newspaper starts empty of ideas – and some of them stay that way.’

Gareth Whelpower, ‘Off-Stone – Memories of a Newspaper Man’

 

1

The Canyons

It was like they weren’t there. Millions of Londoners streamed past the Gordon Road Estates every twenty-four hours, in their cars, buses and trains, but they didn’t see them; as if they were invisible, easily ignored. A mixed-up part of town, full of mixed-up people, where nothing much ever happened. Squeezed between the rich glamour of Regent’s Park, the neon buzz of central London and the squat seriousness of Euston. High-rise blocks towered over low ones; pensioners scratched along next to smart-casual media consultants; bankers in Reiss suits lived beside teenage gangsters in shades. If you parked your car next to one of the little squares, you didn’t know if you were going to come back and find a glossy leaflet for Hatha Yoga under the wipers, or the wheels gone and the car up on bricks.

But something was about to happen tonight.

Liam Glass was waiting angrily in the dark outside his front door on one of the first-floor walkways – shuffling from one foot to another, hunched into his hoodie, waiting, waiting, waiting; waiting for his mum, who was inside, searching endlessly through drawers and bags. He shivered as a dankness rose from the concrete and the road below glistened like fire under the street lights. A Tory election leaflet had been shoved half through their letterbox. He pulled it out and scanned it, frowning in concentration.

Katrina finally arrived with her debit card and a bustle of urgency.

‘So as you remember the PIN number,’ she said, holding out a scrap of paper. She thought he was still a kid.

He took the card, but not the note with the PIN, and turned away, grumpily.

‘You’ll forget!’ she called. But he was already stomping off down the steps.

Of course, he was just a kid, but not to himself. Tall for his age. Hormones rising. Ready to fight for his place in the world. Down he went, into Gordon Road, down the hard-lit electric canyons like he was in the Wild West. And full of his own thoughts: football matches played and unplayed, Xbox games waiting, friends, Shay Begum and Zen Methercroft, Facebook, Instagram, real girls from school, naked women on websites he thought Katrina didn’t know he knew…

He passed Royland Pinkersleigh, who was rhythmically flailing around with a rag and soap suds, swabbing down the wall outside his little gym, All Roads Lead to Royland. Royland flailed faster, trying not to think of all his problems, trying not to think of his partner Sadé in the tiny gym office, wrestling with the accounts. Sadé, who would be only too pleased to remind him about their debts as soon as he went back inside. Royland half glanced at Liam, thought he’d seen him before but couldn’t remember where, then applied himself to the rag and bucket once more.

Liam stepped into the road, right in front of Jamila Hasan’s green Mini Cooper…

Jamila was distracted, thinking about the art-gallery opening she was already late for – and she the guest of honour as the local councillor. At the last moment, she swerved and missed him. She hooted, but Liam hardly heard above the tick-tick-oomp-oomp of the music playing out of his earphones. She hooted again as she sped away from him, desperately composing the speech she was supposed to be making to the assembled art lovers and local journalists in fifteen minutes’ time.

Liam trotted past Jason Crowthorne, chief reporter of the Camden Herald, who hardly noticed him in the dark, saw him and didn’t see him, just another hoodie, shoulders hunched, round faced, ear buds in his ears, staring at the phone in his hand.

An hour before, Jason had turned twenty-nine, but he’d kept it to himself and had merely stolen a Twix from the vending machine in the newsroom. He didn’t like sharing personal grief.

Now he locked his car and shivered in the cold April breeze. He turned away from Liam, who was ambling down the road in the other direction.

Didn’t see either, as the others hadn’t, the two dark shapes following.

#

Jason took out his own phone to tell his ex he’d be late, then put it away again, unused. He walked fast down a narrow side street, checking the names on the ugly square buildings. It was April 2010 and there was an election going on out there. The whole country was fighting for its future, but the deputy editor had sent him down Gordon Road on the Death Knock. He was supposed to be seeing his ex and his daughter tonight. Bea was the most important person in his life and his most fervent fan, but at ten years old how much longer would she be impressed by his stories of basement disputes and endangered trees?

He hated the Death Knock, still found it upsetting getting stories from the recently bereaved, and should have told Tam, the deputy editor, where to stuff it, an experienced journo like him. The Death Knock was for juniors (and him nominated once for Young Journalist of the Year, though longer ago than he cared to remember). But Tam had no experience, had been promoted above her competence. She wouldn’t even have understood. And anyway there was what he’d read in the editor’s office earlier in the day – and was trying hard to forget.

He found what he was looking for, a half-glazed door on the ground floor, and gathered his courage to ring the bell.

‘You must be Danielle,’ he said to the pale face that answered it. The girl was probably in her early teens, with black lipstick and eye make-up and that typical goth softness pretending to be hard. He introduced himself as Jason Crowthorne, senior journalist on the Camden Herald. She grunted and he took a step back. It was a personal technique of his. It took people by surprise and made them feel they were in control. Beyond he could see a dark hallway. Coats were piled up on chairs or folded on the floor and a sad mumble of polite voices came from inside.

‘I was sorry to hear about your dad,’ he said in his most sympathetic voice. ‘I just want to check we have all the facts correct.’ In truth what he wanted was a picture and a heart-warming quote. ‘I feel for you, Dani. And your poor mum too. Your dad… ripped from both your hearts. By a truck laden with frozen foods.’

She stepped to one side. It never ceased to amaze him how keen people were to share their most personal moments with a strange journalist. Twenty minutes later he found himself back on the damp pavement holding the family’s favourite photo of the deceased and a number of unusable quotes about what a drunk, thieving bastard the man had been. He slipped the photo into his pocket and decided to make up some quotes of his own. The Herald’s readers didn’t want bad news about the departed. Not unless they were celebrities. As he walked back to his car, he opted for ‘Overcame personal obstacles’ and ‘An original approach to business’. These pleased him. Just the right amount of truth without depressing the readers.

#

Liam Glass walked on through the Estates, their silent walkways and covered passageways glittering with night-time drizzle, and just a few teenagers still mooching in holding patterns in the dark, smoking and selling spliffs, keeping an eye out for members of the wrong crew.

The first cash machine the boy came to was jammed. He stood there, taken aback. Then he bent down and inspected it, as if that would help. It looked scratched; someone had been trying to jemmy into it like a fruit machine perhaps, hoping to hit the jackpot. He’d have liked to have given up and gone home, but his mum would have walloped him. He was hungry and it was a pizza-shaped hunger.

After a few minutes of staring and wondering how to make the machine work he remembered there was another cash machine not far off. It was a few hundred metres down the road, stuck in the side of a newsagent’s – or used to be. He hadn’t seen it for a few months. He moved on, pleased with himself for remembering, hoping it was still there. He flipped the card to and fro between his fingers like a magician and recited the PIN under his breath, but he didn’t spot the shadows still following…

While, at the other end of Gordon Road, Katrina waited, standing in a yellow square of window on the first floor, looking down into the street for her son. Stubbing out another cigarette. Brushing the hair from her face with anxious hands.

 

 

 

 

© Charles Harris 2017

For more information visit bit.ly/glassmediakit

Marble City Publishing – http://www.marblecitypublishing.com

PR – Linda MacFadyen Tel: 0191 280 1080  Mobile: 07768 3901

Email: LindaMacFadyenPR@virginmedia.com

 

 

PRESS RELEASE

 

The Breaking of Liam Glass – an extraordinarily prescient novel

 

Published 29 June 2017

 

Charles Harris, international award-winning film writer/director, could not have known when he started drafting this powerful novel, in 2010, that headlines like ‘Three dead in weekend of knife carnage on the streets of London’ Evening Standard would become the norm.

 

With London knife crime now on the rise, this is not so much a whodunnit as a blackly comic what-they-did-after-it satire, that resonates in a timely way.

 

Teenage footballer Liam Glass is stabbed on an estate next to London’s Regents Park and, with an eye to the main chance, journalist Jason Crowthorne sets out to make the most of the story and build a crusade against teenage knife-crime.

 

In the following 24 hours, Jason creates his campaign, hiding a scoop from rival journalists and avoiding arrest. But other powerful figures are determined to exploit the boy’s story as much as they can, and they have fewer scruples! Liam Glass is a darkly satirical look at the deep splits in modern communities, asking deep moral questions in a sympathetic and humorous way.

 

Charles Harris is an international award-winning writer-director and a highly-respected script consultant, writing and directing for cinema, television and theatre. He is also a best-selling non-fiction author with titles including A Complete Screenwriting Course, Police Slang, and Jaws in Space. Several of his short stories have been published, with two shortlisted for awards.

Charles has a black belt in Aikido and teaches police, security personnel and the public, self-defence against street violence, including knife attacks.

For more information visit bit.ly/glassmediakit  If you would like a copy of The Breaking of Liam Glass, or to talk to Charles Harris please contact: – Linda MacFadyen Tel: 0191 280 1080  Mobile: 07768 390 172
Email: LindaMacFadyenPR@virginmedia.com

http://www.marblecitypublishing.com/


This entry was posted on in homepage. Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to The Breaking of Liam Glass

  1. DiaryStore says:

    Nice Discussion. Well written….

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *