Leader of the opposition, Sir Alex Bolton, is being blackmailed. After dancer Bella takes pictures of him with a spy camera, people in high places plan to make sure that nothing prevents Sir Alex from becoming Britain’s next prime minister.While Bella is shacked up with her new lover Martin, her bank robber ex-boyfriend Joey shows up at their doorstep after getting an early release from prison. A stash of 3 million pounds is hidden somewhere, and the fellow bank robbers he ratted on are after him and the money.After Chief Inspector Preston and Detective Sergeant Johnson are called to investigate, bodies start to pile up at an alarming rate, and they must navigate the investigation while under pressure to avoid a PR nightmare.Praise for FLOWERS AT MIDNIGHT:”‘Flowers’ offers constant high action and characters who are as twisted as they are entertaining.” – David Keymer, Vine Voice and Amazon Top 500 Reviewer”Excellent, well-written thriller.” – Michael A. Newman, Vine Voice”Fast moving, amusing gangster saga filled with quirky characters and thug-type dialogues.” – Israel Drazin, Amazon Top 1000 Reviewer
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Hello, there! I’m Nick Sweet. If you enjoy crime thrillers, then you need to check out my FLOWERS AT MIDNIGHT, which features politicians bonking and bonkers (sound familiar?), as well as my very well-received THE LONG SIESTA, SWITCH and ONLY THE LONELY.If you like thoughtful, quirky love stories, then you really need to check out YOUNG HEARTS and ONE FLESH.Western fans should check out my WAYS OF THE WEST.Those who don’t care much about authors or their lives, but just want to read their books, already have all the information they need. But those readers who are interested in reading more about me and my work, and what others have said about it, should continue reading below. If you’re still reading, then please allow me to tell you a little about myself. I’m originally from Bristol in England, although I’ve moved around a fair bit. After studying English at Cardiff University, I did my PGCE at the Institute of Education in London, and then I began to teach in the English capital, before I took a succession of jobs in such places as Brighton, Saudi, Abu Dhabi, Bristol, Bilbao, Barcelona, Seville, Malaga, Cadiz and Almería. I’m currently living with my youngest child on the Costa del Sol. I speak Spanish fluently, and love Spain and the lifestyle here. I developed a passion for reading in my late teens, and it wasn’t too long before my love for books led me to try my hand at writing my own stuff. Learning to write and find my ‘voice’ was a long and arduous process, even though it is true that I derived a fair amount pleasure from it along the way. If it was so tough, you might ask, then why did I stick at it? Well, there are a number of answers to this question. One of them might be that I felt I owed a lot to the books that had so enchanted and enthralled me as a reader down through the years, and so there’s a sense in which I was, and still am, trying to repay that ‘debt’ by writing books that others will enjoy reading. My latest book, FLOWERS AT MIDNIGHT, continues to ride high in the U.K. Kindle bestseller charts, where it has been sitting quite happily among good company these past few weeks. The book is a crime thriller set in London, where I lived for around sixteen years. Let me tell you a little about where I drew my inspiration for this book. During the late 1980s, I slipped into overdraft at the bank while trying to earn my daily crust teaching English in a comprehensive school in North London. In truth, I’d been hitting the bars and partying a little too much, so that I was living beyond my means. Realising I would need to take on a second job in order to get out of the red, I found work as a doorman in Soho; and so, for four months that year, I juggled two jobs. I would rise early and go to work as a teacher in the morning, arrive home around 5 in the afternoon, and just have time to take a quick shower and drink a cup of tea, before I’d have to put on my black trousers and white shirt and head off for the West End, where I was expected to man the door from around 6.30 until just before midnight six nights a week. The club, Raymond’s Revue Bar, in Soho, was owned by Paul Raymond, then one of the very richest men in England, and there were two shows a night, in which the girls that performed offered a British version of what the French first started up with the Moulin Rouge. My job was basically to welcome in people who looked like they weren’t going to cause any trouble, keep out people who were (there was a black list that included the great comedian Peter Cook, who apparently liked to climb on stage and dance with the girls when under the influence), and keep the touts down on the corner of Walker’s Court away from the door, since they were inclined to try to sidle over and pinch our customers. Every now and then, the call would come down from upstairs, ‘Get Nick, we’ve got a wanker in,’ and I would have to rush to the theatre, where the head usher would train a torch on the lap of the guilty party. ‘Look,’ he’d say, ‘you can see the dirty bleeder’s raincoat is moving.’ I would then have to escort the gent concerned from the premises. One night, a group of four became a little rowdy in the theatre, so it fell to me and the box office manager to throw them out. Surprise, surprise, they didn’t want to leave. The box office manager threatened to call the police. ‘Oh no, don’t do that,’ one of them pleaded. ‘We don’t want any trouble with the cops, because we’re policemen ourselves…’ Needless to say, we had our share of laughs in those days. And one of the perks that went with the job was free entrance to a number of the local nightclubs after hours.The laughs aside, those were long, arduous days when I scarcely had time even to read a newspaper let alone work on a novel, but nevertheless I did learn a lot (as well as finding a most effective way of getting out of the red). And while it wouldn’t exactly be true to say that I wrote about my personal experiences in FLOWERS AT MIDNIGHT, because what happens in the book is certainly all fiction, I think it is fair to say that my experiences of Soho by night during that time gave me insights into a side of the capital I might otherwise never have seen – and suffice to say that some of those insights into Soho’s darker side informed my novel. Readers who enjoy FLOWERS AT MIDNIGHT may want to check out some of my other crime thrillers, which include BAD IN BARDINO (set in the fictional Spanish coastal resort of Bardino, somewhere near Marbella, and featuring P.I. Art Blakey), and THE LONG SIESTA (set in Seville, where I was living at the time I wrote the book, and featuring Inspector Velázquez). My other two crime thrillers, SWITCH and ONLY THE LONELY, are shorter books, but are no less exciting and readable for being so.As well as my crime thrillers, I have also written three historical novels: YOUNG HEARTS, ONE FLESH and GEMINI GAMES. These three novels are unusual in that they are love stories and yet they also take on board some quite serious social issues. ONE FLESH, for instance, looks at the problems faced by a young man trying to come to terms with the fact that he is gay while living in a Welsh coal mining village at a time when homosexuality was frowned upon by the local community; and a complex love tangle ensues. YOUNG HEARTS looks at the problems faced by a gifted young man from a working class background who finds himself at Oxford University, where he is something of an oddity in the eyes of his upper middle class peers; then World War One breaks out and everything is turned upside down. GEMINI GAMES looks at the lives and loves of three yobs in London, and the way the media covers their actions. This latter novel was praised by the likes of D.M. Thomas, Andrew O’Hagan and D.J. Taylor. And then there is my cowboy novel, WAYS OF THE WEST.Praise for my books:’The Long Siesta is a slice of the darkest noir transported to the sunny climate of Seville – a great character and a great book.’ Mason Cross’Nick Sweet’s Inspector Velazquez is one of the most original and intriguing creations in crime fiction; a top Spanish cop with a very dark secret. THE LONG SIESTA offers an authentic slice of nineties Seville with murder as its backdrop. You can almost taste the albondigas and Fino!’ Howard Linskey’Sweet handles his twisting plot with all the panache of the Matador.’ Caro Ramsay’The Long Siesta is a full-blooded neo-noir, as gritty as any 1970s Hollywood thriller, and as colourful as the latest Mexican telenovela.’ Nicholas Blincoe’…highly readable… Recommended.’ Paul Johnston’If the second (in the series) was coming out tomorrow I’d say Hasta Mañana.’ Douglas Skelton’…an enthralling glimpse into an unfamiliar world. Confident and sharp, Inspector Velázquez is a complex man who knows what makes his beat in Seville tick.’ Nick Quantrill’…the fast-paced plot suggests Sweet’s text would suit a big-screen makeover.’ Matthew Hirtes in the Huffington Post’Those who love a fast paced crime thriller with a flawed leading policeman will enjoy THE LONG SIESTA.’ Linda’s Book Bag’This is an intelligent read which leaves the reader not knowing which way the characters are going to turn next as you’re never 100 per cent sure who the good guys are.’ The Hazardous Hippo blogspot’One might have thought that Spanish-set crime was territory sewed up by the likes of Robert Wilson, but Nick Sweet proves to have the measure of the genre with THE LONG SIESTA. This concise novel is set in 1998 Seville. An elderly priest has been gruesomely killed, and Nick Sweet’s protagonist Inspector Velázquez quickly finds himself with a slew of trouble involving Russian gangsters and further ecclesiastical murders. Velázquez proves to be an intriguing and idiosyncratic protagonist, and Sweet evokes his sultry locale with maximum vividness.’ Barry Forshaw in Crime Time (an edited version of this review also appeared later in the year, in Barry Forshaw’s guide to the best of British crime writing, Brit Noir).Reviews for Nick’s crime thriller, FLOWERS AT MIDNIGHT:’A startling and intriguing crime story.’ Quentin Bates’…a can’t put down page-turner. Nick Sweet is a rising star in crime fiction.’ Gary C. King’The tone is pure Elmore Leonard, with dimbulb villains, some honest coppers, a complex but still intelligible plot and a satisfying ending. This is not a book that prompts loud guffaws, but rather a series of continual smiles. Nick Sweet, we want more.’ Professor Richard B. Schwartz (Writer & Professor of English, University of Missouri-Columbia)’…a blistering pace with a firecracker plot and machine gun dialogue. If you like your crime fiction fast and furious, this is the one for you.’ Rod Madocks’Kinky sex, blackmail, murder, three million pounds and a gay psychoanalyst…this fast-paced London caper will have readers turning pages as Nick Sweet delivers FLOWERS AT MIDNIGHT.’ Vince LardoAuthor Kenna McKinnon on Nick’s crime thriller, BAD IN BARDINO:’Fast paced and humorous yet dark, this book is a rival for Raymond Chandler’s ‘The Long Goodbye’…I couldn’t find a single cliche in the story…this fast-paced thriller held my interest well into the night as I flipped the pages of my Kindle…’Critical responses to my historical/literary novel, GEMINI GAMES:’A novel that’s both serious and funny. A mordant look at the state of Britain today.’ D.M. Thomas’I very much enjoyed the London-ness of GEMINI GAMES… Good stuff…there are too few accurate London novels.’ Andrew O’Hagan’I was impressed by the sympathy and integrity of the writing.’ D.J. TaylorCritic and novelist D.J. Taylor on Nick’s historical novel, YOUNG HEARTS:’I like Nick Sweet’s writing, which is always deeply engaged with the subjects he chooses, intelligent in its approach and seriously interested in the difficulties of ordinary people trying to live their lives in the shadow of great events.’A critical response to my short story, THE WOMAN OF HIS HEART, which I contributed to the anthology SUNSHINE NOIR :’…And Nick Sweet’s entry, so help me, with its straight-to-the-point storytelling and its wit, reminds me of nothing so much as Dashiell Hammett’s Continental Op stories.’ Peter Rozovsky in his introduction to the collection of stories entitled Sunshine Noir