The Ludi Victor began as an escape from the grey and inert world of the convalescent in need of colour, excitement and something to do. In fact, of course, the escape world turned out to be a metaphor for the actual one.
All novels are probably self-examinations as well as explorations. Still, that first one got an invalid back on his feet, earned a Crime Writers Association award and made future writing inescapable, which perhaps is what awards are mainly for.
Its successor was a less brooding and more romantic thriller called The Rostov Constellation. Then, though, out of the mines and gales of the
Forest of Dean came a piece of rural detective fiction, Landscape With Dead Figures, followed by The Book of Caradoc, a modern adventure epic set in a post-Withering Britain.
A move to North Yorkshire prompted Hangdog Hall which aimed to update PG Wodehouse while holding on, I hope, to some of his civility and laughs. My mother’s moving into a nearby retirement home prompted In The Nick of Time, a tale of elderly passion and devilry set in one.Then came Uncle Hank Ant And The Antmobile, a collection of out of the ordinary science fantasy fairy tales for out of the ordinary youngsters.
A sharp attack of itchy feet resulted in The Long Road, a part-novel, part-travelogue based on a Great Jubilee year’s tramp across northern Spain from the Pyrenees to Santiago de Compostela. It was followed by The Peace Terrorists, a double-stranded novel counterpointing modern nuclear sabotage with the doings of a Roman legion cast away in the Virginia Tidewater 1600 years ago.
Is/are there more to come? I hope so.