‘Corrupted’ is the fourth book in the Charles Holborne series. It was published in paperback and as an eBook on the 21st June 2018 by Urbane Publications. I am thrilled to be taking part in this blog tour today and would like to thank Love Books Group for inviting me to participate.
I have a wonderful guest post from Simon Michael. First though here’s what ‘Corrupted’ is about.
Corrupted is the fourth book in the Charles Holborne thriller series, and Simon Michael’s follow up to the bestselling The Lighterman.
Charles is building his reputation as a brilliant murder trial lawyer and living the good life with partner Sally. But he can’t escape the influences and dangers of the past, and finds himself drawn once more into the orbit of the notorious Kray twins.
It’s not long before Charles is courting scandal and threats to his very life when investigating a sex ring that involves not just the Krays and the Mafia, but goes to the very echelons of the country’s power.
Simon Michael brings the past back to life across a beautifully rendered swinging 60s landscape, and delivers a gripping piece of thriller fiction that will excite any fan of the genre.
A SEX SCANDAL … A MURDER … AND A COVER UP
ANOTHER VERY ENGLISH SCANDAL
An Establishment cover-up of the sexual shenanigans of high-profile figures. Who are we talking about this time – Jeremy Thorpe MP? Cyril Smith MP?
If you’ve read any of the Charles Holborne crime thrillers you will know that the 1960s and 1970s were the “Wild West” of British justice. Gangs like the Krays, the Richardsons and the Messina brothers carved their territories with firebombs, razors and shooters, vying for control of the proceeds of London’s prostitution, pornography, protection money and illegal gambling. And departments of the Metropolitan Police such as the Sweeney and the Dirty Squad (Obscene Publications Squad) were almost institutionally corrupt; they skimmed profits, protected the villains and fitted up and verballed innocent men. It wasn’t until 1978, the start of Operation Countryman, that the clean-up of the Met began, and it took well over a decade before most of the bent coppers had been thrown out or imprisoned.
That’s why this period is a goldmine to a crime writer, especially one like myself who spent decades on the inside of the criminal justice system and who saw first-hand just how corrupt and dysfunctional it was. All I needed to do was put an honest but flawed brief in the centre of all this; a brief with “a past” and a single-minded drive to pursue justice at any cost; incorporate details of cases in which I was instructed; mix well; and watch the sparks fly.
While the first three books in the series have generally followed Charlie, and his complicated and dangerous relationship with the Krays, through the early 1960s, in Corrupted I stumbled across an astonishing event that took place during the summer of 1964. It involved not only the usual mix of professional gangsters and bent policeman but also senior members of the Conservative government and of the opposition Labour Party. It led to the Home Secretary putting pressure on the Metropolitan Police Commissioner to lie about an ongoing investigation; it led to a planted question in the House of Lords; it led to huge libel damages being wrung out of a national newspaper for printing what was, essentially, a true story. Most importantly, it led to the Krays becoming untouchable by the police for several years, during which time their reign of violent criminality continued and two men were murdered. It is a scandal that is well-documented but not well-known, and started with Ronnie Kray’s gay sex parties and its high-profile guests.
Corrupted is a violent crime thriller; it’s a “whodunnit” and it’s a “whydoneit”; but it is also a political thriller, one of enormous current resonance, and it seems to have struck a chord: “Crackles with tension” “instantly classic” “jaw-dropping suspense-filled” “old-school espionage with elegance” “A truly awesome thriller”.
Corrupted is published by Urbane Publications.
About Simon Michael
During Simon Michael’s years of practice at the Bar he has prosecuted and defended enough murderers, armed robbers, con artists and other assorted villainy to provide him with a lifetime of true crime stories. The Charles Holborne thriller series is set in the dangerous gangland streets of 1960s London. Simon currently lives in London.
‘Corrupted’ can be purchased from Amazon UK:-