Before 2019 petered out (and we embraced the two-faces of Janus) with 2020 arriving; many of us were fortunate to have grabbed a copy of REAP THE WHIRLWIND, published by The Crime and Mystery Club.
This ‘different’ book helped some of us cope as the Earth passed the Sun on another lap of the Solar System, taking us back to 1990s London. It’s the return to print of the adventures [and misadventures] of the South London Private Investigator, Nick Sharman created and penned by Mark Timlin.
I wrote in December  –
“An unexpected Christmas gift arrives for Crime Fiction readers, for Mark Timlin’s signature detective Nick Sharman returns to the page when we all thought he was gone into the memories of days now passed. This new book proves us wrong, though it is actually a collection of five short stories, and a novella that gives this book its title.
It’s been awhile since we last met up with the troubled Sarf-London private-eye; though set in those days when Nick Sharman bumbled along in the 1990s, this new book is surprisingly fresh. Naturally there is a nostalgic appeal for readers familiar with Mark Timlin’s voice, that terse urgency of Sharman’s first-person narrative. There is a broader appeal to those yet to experience the world through those amoral eyes, and of that voice.”
Read the full review HERE
And our subsequent chat which I transcribed as an interview which became a feature, and is archived HERE
Mark and his partner, the renowned book publicist Lucy Ramsey have long since left not only London, but England. It’s been a little while since I last visited them, which I recorded HERE which also acts as background to the literary work of the author.
During a telephone call last week (as both Mark and I are awake before dawn), I was delighted to learn that Mark has started writing again, and will be reviewing books for Shots Magazine. Writing and Reading keeps the mind lubricated [away from despair] as we age, which for some, is as disgracefully as we’d lived when we were young. For good mental health, little beats reading novels in these days fuelled with Anxiety, Depression and the advent of the streaming TV services. This link HERE from the BBC concurs.
Over our chat, I told him how much I enjoyed the stories in REAP THE WHIRLWIND; the recollection of seeing the world through Nick Sharman’s eyes again. I encouraged him to keep on writing, as all writers tell each other [….keep going…keep going…..] in those ours before dawn – where imagination and good coffee [and perhaps pets] are our only friends.
He also told me about a story he penned during the Christmas Holiday. A festive look back at 1990s from the eyes of Nick Sharman, entitled “Merry Christmas, Baby”.
I asked rather cheekily, if I could have a read? Which he agreed to, and emailed it over. I loved it, and as Christmas 2019 had just passed and the tale being of a seasonal nature – I hinted that he’d have difficulty placing it - until the tail-end of this year [for inclusion in a Crime Magazine or a Festive Crime Collection].
Mark agreed to it being serialised at Shots Magazine. So, after editing, it will be presented here shortly on the Blog, split into two parts.
Stay Tuned, it’s a late Christmas gift written in the last Month of 2019 by Mark Timlin, but set in 1990s London for the readers of Shots Magazine.
Those with long memories of Mark Timlin’s amoral stories, will recall that Nick Sharman was played by a young Clive Owen on a mid-1990’s TV crime show [now available on DVD and BluRay]. Viewing it, like reading Nick Sharman leaves a dent, a scar in the mind. For me, Clive Owen will always be the face and voice of Nick Sharman.
I recall watching Spike Lee’s extraordinary 2006 Heist Thriller [written by Russell Gewirtz], a film that remains one of my all-time favourite crime-thrillers.
The opening monologue read by Clive Owen, over the opening credits, for my money, was just so Nick Sharman [perhaps with a little elocution] -
My name is Dalton Russell.
Pay strict attention to what I say because I choose my words carefully and never repeat myself.
I have told you my name, and that's the who.
The where can most readily be described as a prison cell. But there's a vast difference between being stuck in a tiny cell and being imprisoned.
The what is easy. Recently, I planned and set in motion events to execute the perfect bank robbery.
That's also the when.
As for the why, beyond the obvious financial motivation, it's exceedingly simple. Because I can.
Which leaves us only with the how. And therein, as the Bard would tell us, lies the rub.
At film’s opening credit sequence, Clive Owen’s monologue bled into a reworking of A.R. Rahman's "Chaiyya Chaiyya" song, featuring Panjabi MC's added rap lyrics about people of different backgrounds coming together in order to survive.
People working together, and an appreciation of diversity is an ethos of mine, and of many other people; including the fictional character of Nick Sharman, who survives his misadventures with his own eclectic entourage (like the amusingly named police detective Jack Robber), with an ethos the Bard would describe in Hamlet as, “ therein lies the rub”.
As you will see in “Merry Christmas, Baby” published shortly and exclusively at Shots Blog in two parts over the weekend
For more information about the Mysterious Mark Timlin, click this link HERE and scroll baby, scroll.
More information about Mark Timlin as well as his work published by No Exit Press is available HERE
More information about Mark Timlin’s REAP THE WHIRLWIND including purchase from The Crime and Mystery Club is available HERE
More information about the character, Nick Sharman from Thrilling Detective Click HERE
And an additional treat, we can finally reveal that Mark Timlin will be making his first public appearance [in well over a decade], with Lucy Ramsey at the 2020 Crimefest Convention in Bristol in a special event, details to be forthcoming when Donna Moore and Adrian Muller [with their team] unfurl the full program.
More information about registering from Crimefest 2020, CLICK HERE and we hope to see you there June 4th to 7th in Bristol, England, especially seated in the bar just like Nick Sharman, talking about our lives in books, writing and reading - and laughing loudly and frequently.
Graphics © 2020 No Exit Press © 2019 The Crime and Mystery Club and © 1996 World Productions © 2020 Ali Karim and © 2020 Shots Magazine.