#BlogTour- George Paterson- The Girl, The Crow, The Writer and the Fighter @gfpaterson @intocreative

Join me today on The Girl, The Crow, The Writer and the Fighter blog tour, and read an exclusive extract from this truly unique and clever debut tale of murder and double cross from George Paterson. Here’s what the publisher says about this spellbinding story, and read on to discover more…

From the pre and post-war streets of bohemian Paris to the cool azure skies above the Mediterranean, ‘The Girl, The Crow, The Writer and The Fighter’ takes the reader on a visceral, labyrinthine trip with a notorious sexual anarchist, the most dangerous man on the planet and a young woman who finds herself drawn into their complex world of murder, carnality and duplicity.

The book opens in 1965 when provocative author Henry Miller is taken incognito to an infamous title fight. In the turbulent aftermath of the bout, Miller is forced to battle his way through the ensuing melee in order to make a vital connection with the keeper of a tightly guarded secret.

‘Is it safe?’

Twenty years later, a young Maine waitress receives an unusual bequest.

From the estate of an elderly patron, May Morgenstern takes ownership of a bound collection of letters, hitherto unseen correspondence between her late friend and the aforementioned writer in which he not only recounts the story of how he came to be accused of the slaying of the man who fathered her but how his fate came to be linked with that of future heavyweight champion, Sonny Liston. As she delves deeper into the letters, May learns that the truth may be more deadly than fiction.

George Paterson’s epistolary tale of murder and chicanery is a study of chaos in instalments. ‘The Girl, The Crow, The Writer and The Fighter’ is an incendiary, exciting ‘what if?’ page turner which spans continents and lifetimes; a story where desire and intrigue sit, like Chang and Eng, inextricably bound within its own myth.

From Dumas to Devo, Hammett to Huey Lewis, Paterson’s debut novel deftly turns literary convention on its side and fashions an entertaining, yet challenging alternative reality in mystery fiction.

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EXTRACT

Chapter 1 – Blood on the Apron

Tap, tap, tap.
The old man knocked the blade against the discoloured porcelain bowl. Stirring the water, he brought the blade back to the left side of his face, going over an already smooth area. An unfiltered cigarette dangled precariously from his fleshy, sud-framed lips. Steam from the piping hot water had condensed the circular mirror hanging from a darkened chain above the sink, rendering it all but obsolete. He didn’t wipe it clear. At his age, he knew his face. Weathered and drawn, loose and long. Old but not decrepit. Not like this room.
Tap, tap, tap.
Balanced on the edge of the bowl was a small notebook, its pages held open by a chewed pencil. The last sentence he’d written on the water specked page read, ‘Her legs twitched.’ His previous attempt – ‘There was some movement from her legs.’ – had been crudely scored out. His left hand felt its way around his face. A minute clump of bristle on the right side of his neck, just under his jaw and once more, the razor returned to his skin.
Tap, tap.
The old man rinsed the blade, wrapped it in a flannel and placed it in the small, brown leather pouch sat on the ledge by the walk-in shower. He took a hand towel from the small stack, patted dry his long bare head and dabbed the water which had flecked his vest.
He dressed. A pale blue gingham, seersucker shirt with navy corduroy slacks. Not contemporary but still stylish. Not like this room. He turned to the bed. Two ties lay across the mattress. One oxblood red, the other, black with three yellow diagonal stripes. Choosing neither, he placed both into a small leather travel bag and pulled on a light tweed jacket. Though it had served its owner well over the years, the jacket still fit his form perfectly. He reached back into the bathroom, where the sound of the leaky cistern plinked and plonked to its own time signature, an atonal free form, and pulled the toggle at the end of the frayed light cord. From the bedside table, he picked up a pair of brown turtle shell glasses and put them on. His eyes widened, adjusting to his strong but familiar prescription.
The small bag was placed inside a larger, matching travel bag. Tightening its red and blue strap, he fastened the dull brass clip and left the ugly motel room without a backward glance. A room so soiled with the funk of stale smoke and illicit sweat, that no amount of scrubbing or fresh air could ever expunge. The kind of room he once loved. In every stain, a story. A lover in each gouge and a devastated cuckold in every scuff mark. Not now. This meant nothing to him. He could not glean anything from it. And besides, there was not enough time tonight to slide back into old ways, even if his body would allow.
He walked down the corridor, past the triptych of frontier mustangs in varying stages of frolic, into the reception area; an ill-conceived, glass extension which would provide little shelter from the harsh northeastern winter. On a curious evening like this though, in the margin between late spring and early summer, it acted as a hothouse. From behind the paper strewn reception desk, an awkward, wistful looking fellow took the old man’s key. His once white shirt had noticeable perspiration marks which seemed to spread from under his lank arms as if he was incapable of preventing his own foulness from consuming him.

__________________________________________________

Praise for The Girl, The Crow, The Writer and the Fighter: 

“Possibly the finest American novel not to come out of America.”
Alistair Braidwood
Scottish Cultural Commentator & Podcaster (Scots Whay Hae)

“Rarely has a debut novelist, so firmly rooted in his Scottish identity, written a work which is so at ease with the details of raw emotions and breathtaking action in an international setting.”
Stuart Cosgrove
Journalist, Broadcaster and Media Commentator

“Paterson’s writing moves through the chapters like a champion middleweight, dipping and soaring in all the right places, before jabbing you into submission when you least expect it. A scintillating, riveting debut novel from a brilliant new writer.”
David F Ross
There’s Only One Danny Garvey

“A beautiful, brooding epic from the brilliant bastard offspring of Hammett and Pynchon.”
Tom Gillespie
The Strange Book of Jacob Boyce

 

George Paterson is a writer, DJ and musician who, as a member of the bands White and DMP, released a number of well received albums on the Poco Alto Label. His work can be found in a number of independent feature length and short films as well as providing the musical backdrop to the London stage production of the play, ‘ISM’.

Since returning to Scotland in 2017, his focus has been split between the spoken word – his popular weekly ‘Lost in Music’ radio show – and the written, with articles appearing in a number of online publications before finding a home as a regular features writer and reviewer for INTO Creative.

In addition, he has written two screenplays and one feature length ‘coming of age’ story, serialised on INTO, called ‘Everybody Wants to Rule the World’.

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