Payback Call (The Blackpool Novels)

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Slayground was strangely marketed more as a slasher film, rather than crime genre. But upon release it tanked spectacularly even given the fact that it was never likely to be splash release material. There is simply no disguising the poor production standards of the film, especially the sound and ordinary lighting. But the worst sins occur with the "story", though calling it that, is almost giving it too much of a compliment. Stone is part of a gang who rob an armoured car in the most unlikely of places. In escaping, their driver hits another car killing it's occupants, a mother and her ice skater child.

The vengeful husband and father contracts a relentless hit man only identified as Shadowman to take revenge on the gang members. And the story carries on from there, climaxing naturally enough with Stone facing off against Shadowman in the Slayground, which is bizarrely in England, after a switch in continental locations , half way through the movie. I'd just about bet my house on this not occurring in the original novel. Here's the thing.

There is never any explanation given whatsoever as to how Shadowman tracks down, let alone knows who the gang members are. This just happens and it's on with more important things besides logic. The action, by the way is poorly filmed and choreographed, with many of the murders occurring off screen. We are just privy to the less than shocking results.

Characters just exist primarily as cannon fodder, with few given much in the way of back story, including Stone. Oh Yeah! He has an ex-wife. Peter Coyote better known for his supporting characters, rather than lead roles plays Stone unexceptionally. British comedian Mel Smith pops up as a past Stone associate who was thought to be dead Don't ask! But this is real bottom shelf stuff. I wouldn't really bother getting involved with this stinker. The director of the movie apparently decided he didn't like the books or their main character.

More or less, the director or producer, whoever made this inept decision, simply took the title of the novel and cooked up a script bearing no relation to the book or any in the series, in order to suite what they believed would be something better.

He's been replaced by a small time hood who spews out lines like, "I'm a thief, not a killer. It's a shame, too, because the book would have made a classic movie, but they chose to film something else. With respect to the movie "Slayground" which starred Peter Coyote : I was present at the filming of several scenes in Slayground. As past 1st lieutenant and Emergency Medical Technician for many years with Nyack Community Ambulance Corps, I had occasion to be on stand-by service, on scene, for the filming crew's safety. The scene that shows a phone call from a Public Booth and shows, in the background, the L.

The film crew had their meals catered at our Corps building meeting room. Hence my review may be a little slanted toward the positive, but it was a film that was anything but boring! I am one of the few,proud and lucky folks that was able to see this great film on opening weekend. Sadly that theater in Cedar Knolls,NJ is no longer standing. This is a film that I read both negative and positive comments on but mine are all of a complimenting nature.


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The scarf was used to wipe clean one of the champagne flutes as well as the glass table, which was still smeared with lines of cocaine. The figure eased into the coat, pulled on the woolly hat and bunched up the cashmere scarf so that only a pair of bloodshot eyes was visible. We shall all be paying for the impact of this crisis on the public finances for a generation. Bridget and I had first heard those immortal words come out of the toothless mouth of a sozzled Irishman in a spit and sawdust bar in Dublin over fifteen years before.

Unfortunately, our mutual propensity to get out of it had ensured that it had quickly degenerated into a liver-destroying hour Guinness-quaffing bonanza. Little did that dribbling, bleary- eyed mumbler know that his doubtless oft-repeated gag had become a set response within a small circle of Cambridge pals.

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Towards the end of every serious drinking session at least one of us would invariably shout it, usually employing an appalling Irish accent, whilst raising a single, triumphant digit in the air. Nowadays, we all still uttered it occasionally though it merely felt like a desperate attempt to reassert our shared history. Of all our Cambridge set, she was my favourite. She always had been. Our relation- ship during our second year at college had been a torrid, drug-fuelled affair. It had taken me many years to get over Bridget. Still, we had managed to remain great friends and even better drinking partners.

Within her lay a deep well of melancholy that I, and many others, hoped to rid her of. If ever a girl needed the strong silent type it was most definitely Bridget. He provided her with the ballast her chaotic life required and she knew he would never leave her or be unfaithful. He was her rock — something I could never be. They had got together a year before and although it had taken about six months for me to get used to the idea of Bridge hooking up with my best friend everything was just about OK now.

There was no doubt they complemented each other perfectly and had forged a great relationship that looked destined to go all the way. I was happy for them both. I returned to our dingy table in a dark, cosy alcove at the back of the pub, shakily trying to balance two pints of Stella without spilling a drop. This had always been our favourite spot — hidden from the prying eyes and gossipy ears that populate the Square Mile. She slammed it on the table and wiped the froth from her mouth with her forearm. Bridget somehow managed to combine being an Olympian deity with behaviour more befitting an East End docker.

Like me, she was a general salesman at Geldlust Bank. I had started there first and, when I heard that we were looking for new brokers, had persuaded the head of sales to interview her.

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Once the traders had found out that her surname was Von Blixen — harking back to the distant Dutch heritage that accounted for her height and angular looks — she had immediately become known as the Blonde Vixen — a moniker that amused her despite its blatant inaccuracy. She and I spent our days calling fund managers at large institutions pretending we knew which shares would go up and which would go down. This was our fourth pint and I was beginning to feel a little wobbly. Each time she said something like that, a few fellow lunchtime drinkers would look round and stare in disbelief at the delicate beauty who had once again spoken so crudely.

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But Bridget hardly seemed to notice the quizzical glances that were thrown her way. She was on fire that afternoon and nothing was going to come between her and grinning incoherence. But this was no bad thing because Bridget had been off form for several weeks. Still, it was great to see her out and about. There had been an underlying nervousness about everything she did.


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After taking another hefty gulp from my pint I decided to lighten the mood. We had taken him under our wing and enjoyed his often unintentionally amusing asides. He had been viciously bullied at Eton by a bunch of lumbering toffs and was painfully shy.

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He was a genius but his gift had come at a high price — living in a strange world that no one else seemed to inhabit. Hence, he toiled away at a sleepy mutual waiting for a career break that never came. He lived on his own in a poky little flat in Camden where he spent his time obsessively writing lists, nervously pulling out the few remaining hairs on his skinny cranium or glued to youjizz.

Her polite, half- hearted giggle ended prematurely and her expression suddenly turned serious. This had obviously freaked her out. I initially dismissed it as coke paranoia but I kept on catching sight of this figure behind me. Anyway, a few days ago I thought I saw the same fucker behind me again and this time I waited round a corner and confronted him. It was John! We exchanged many emails then arranged to meet up face-to-face and became good personal friends who holiday together. With friend and fellow author, Kristin Gleeson, on a 'working holiday' in Gran Canaria.

Most new authors join some of the associations set up to promote their genre. There are also more generic societies out there who provide legal and business advice like The Society of Authors. The fellow authors in your first publishing house are another great source of writerly friends. Some publishers actively encourage their authors to get to know each other and set up a community forum where they can share news of promotions and ask each other for help.

Unfortunately, my own first publisher was a paranoid crook who discouraged any form of communication between her authors in case we found out the truth about her operation. They felt exactly the same as me and we formed a tight-knit group which helped us to deal with her and our disappointment.

Eventually, we worked together to get her to release us from our contracts and return the publishing rights of our novels. Publishing is one of the most corrupt businesses on the planet. Most authors have had at least one bad experience like this. But, on a more positive note, when all your scribbling works out and your precious stories start to sell, writing for a living is still the best, most rewarding job in the world.

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Writers really do live the dream. One of the most enjoyable things about writing a novel is playing with ideas for the book cover. For me, it's always about the location of the story. My publishers don't ask me for ideas until I've handed over the manuscript. The book cover design usually runs concurrently with the editing. APub use a very talented designer, called Lisa Horton, for my novels and I love everyone of them. Last year, I walked along the Market Harborough canal tow path and took photos of all the old bridges to help her with the design of the book cover for 'The Sculthorpe Murder.

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