Friday, 20 March 2015

New Release: Once Upon A Time In The City Of Criminals

“When I travel to meetings throughout the country, and engage in informal discussions, it is easy to form the impression that the city I represent is regarded by many of our colleagues in other local authorities as a city full of criminals.”

(Minutes of the Nottingham City Council, Crime and Disorder Steering Group, P 19, May 2001)

Amazon UK Customers: £1.99 Customers: $2.99

Terry Valentine, ex-football hooligan and ageing, small-time hood spends his nights driving beautiful young escort, Chloe, to her appointments in the urban inferno of the big city and the opulent manor houses of the Nottinghamshire countryside.
Despite himself, knowing full well the madness, he falls in love with her. Hard.
And so does Hope Calder, impossibly rich COE of Calder Phoenix, a multi-national financial conglomerate. 
Someone who has everything a woman could possibly want. 
Money, status, power.
Everything except love.
When Chloe declines her advances, her driver knows that a simple polite refusal isn’t going to be enough. With her boss, the cunning Neville Gant, manipulating the volatile situation to his own ends, and Hope’s small army of corporate shills lurking in the shadows, Chloe finds herself in mortal danger.

And only one man can protect her. 

Terry Valentine. Loser. Jailbird. 



Information - for those that like this sort of thing :-D

Set In: Nottingham, but, really, it could  be any  big city.

Period: Yesterday, literally.

Extract next week:

Who would (probably) enjoy this?
Readers who read Carla and/or UV. 
Thriller readers.
Quirky romance fans.
Readers who enjoy psychology and sociology.
Ex-football hooligans
Readers of gangster/urban thrillers
Readers of novels set in  big cities.
"Noir" readers.

Who is it for?
Those who enjoy something a little different.
Readers of "hard" fiction and reality fiction.
Crime thriller fans.

Anything to worry about?
One character swears an awful lot, including the C word.
Occasional cinematic violence.
Occasional discussions of sex/attitudes to sex.

Estimated Reading Time (for those with massive TBR itineraries)
4 hours, tops. 
Ex-TNP readers should note that footnotes and digressions are conspicuous by their absence :-D

THAT cover
Owing to, er, certain correspondence, the beautiful cover revealed last week has been  retired, obviously. However, it will be worked on by Dark Dawn Creations for the new paperback in mid-April. 

Any giveaway/review copies will be available then. 

THAT title
Due to other correspondence and a (debatable) external situation I cannot discuss, the afore revealed title will be mothballed for this novel. I am not finished with it for other work assuming that other work occurs. 

Thank you to anyone who retweeted/shared the cover. 
The paperback is going to be a  work of art.

Once Upon A Time In The City Of Criminals is the original working (and white page) title, incidentally.

Hope you enjoy the book.


Latest Reviews:

This one, on The Night Porter from popular writer/reviewer Barb Taub, is something special.

...and  top editor and #writetips guru Alison Williams reviewed Carla and had some really interesting points to make (some of which have had the Creative Writing group I teach in animated discussion). 

Both reviewers I met through Rosie Amber's Reviews - a quality review site for Indie writers.

Stop Press: Here is Brenda Perlin's review of OUATITCOC

Because Brenda and me are good friends, Amazon won't allow her to review me, the third good friend of mine to whom this has happened.

For an Indie, this is not good. Reviews are critical and I need every one I can get.

So much for this idea that Indie reviewers are all "friends and family". (None of my family have ever reviewed me and only a couple of RL friends  have done so).

Anyway, it's a great review and believe me, Brenda, who beta read OUATITCOC forced me at gunpoint to remove four experimental dialogue strips she hated, so she is no-one's sycophant.

Brenda is one of three people I am aware of who has read EVERY word I have written (all of whom now banned from reviewing me), and she takes no prisoners with her comments. A beta session with the  OC's finest is like ten rounds with Tyson.

I mean, the angry Tyson. The one who destroyed with a single glance.

Incidentally, I am never acknowledging anyone again after this - EXCEPT in CODE. So if in the next novel I say thanks to Sexy Flossy Bunny, YOU will  KNOW who you are.

STOP PRESS TWO: Thanks to Brenda's tenacity and telephone techniques, Amazon have allowed her review to stand on


Brenda Perlin's Review

Once Upon A Time In The City Of Criminals left me speechless, numb, shocked. Just about blew my mind. Kind of a quirky one sided love story, mixed with a perfect combination of sex and violence.

The guy writes like no other. He takes you to the scene and  delivers. I was in the thick of it all and the hair on my arms stood towards the sky. Mark Barry has a way of telling you a chilling story that is not only original but intoxicating. I couldn't get enough. 

Most books lose some of their flair as the story progresses but not the case with this powerful story. The ending of this book gave me goosebumps, righteously so. 

Gripping, satisfying, realistic, and dynamic. Once Upon A Time In The City Of Criminals has big guns all the way through. The novel is hardcore and plays out like a Hollywood gangster film. Can see this on the big screen like Snatch and Lock Stock and Two Smoking Barrels. Stellar scenes and realistic in your face dialog. 

The author's use of language is brilliant. Hand picked gems that caught me by surprise. The rich plot line kept me guessing as I read as though I was running out of time, needing to know where this story would lead me. 

Savoring the eloquent lines as they rushed past me. I am in awe.”

Thanks, Brenda :-D




Second extract from the book:

Extract Featured On Georgia Rose's Book Blog

First author interview: 

I Natter With Brenda About The Making Of OUATITCOC


  1. Very excited about this. Can we call it #OUTCC ???
    This knocked my socks off! Congrats on the big release day!!! Indie publishing at it's finest.

  2. Already winging it's way to my kindle - happy days!! :-) Terrifically well done Mark - this is going to be brilliant :-)

  3. Just got my copy from Kindle, next up on the reading list and will hunker down this weekend. Excellent readjustment to the visual (I like it!) and congrats on some great reviews recently. It's all about getting the word out, my friend. You're too good to miss.

  4. How frustrating - I can't review Phil on .com, though I can on UK. Brenda could always get someone else with an Amazon account to post it; it's a genuine review, so why not, eh? One of my regular readers, someone who I didn't know from Adam until she got in touch with me on Twitter to tell me how much she liked The Other Side and always reviewed me, no longer can. Did you know there is a Facebook group on which authors swap fake reviews, ie, they don't read the books but just post 5* for each other? They slip through the net....