On the blog today, we have a man who helped me on the road to success more than I can ever explain. Darren Sant read this very blog when it was in its infancy and invited me to guest on Close to the Bone, a forerunner of the massively successful Near to the Knuckle. I became a regular on CttB and it gave me a huge confidence boost. Darren has also been a big supporter of my fiction and through NTTK, he and Craig Douglas are championing gritty fiction. Today, Darren’s on the blog to show some love for Aidan Thorn. Enjoy!
I first came across Aidan Thorn’s fiction in one of Byker Books fantastic Radgepacket anthologies. Aidan’s story featured a frozen finger and had that gritty sense of humour that I have come to love about some of the better British crime writers. I dropped him a comment about how much I liked the story and we’ve been friends ever since. I’ve seen his talents grow exponentially, along with his confidence, since I read that story and with reading more of his work I’ve seen a style develop that is uniquely his own.
Urban Decay is a collection of thirteen stories. In the first story in this collection, Loathe Thy Neighbour, Aidan’s keen observations about life on a council estate are bang on the money. The relationship between the main character and his mother is very convincing and touching. The sense of pride felt by hard working everyday folk comes across well. The hard man in the story is pushed too far and as you’d expect there are consequences. Thorn’s observations cut through the bullshit of everyday existence with the thoughtful precision of a surgical scalpel.
Throughout the grimy reality of the criminal underground is brought vividly to life through blood washed streets and dark, dangerous back alleys. No metaphorical stone is left unturned in this graphic exploration of the seedier side of things. Aidan Thorn tells it like it is, pulling no punches and putting it boldly. If you can handle it why not download it?
If you’d like a taster, ‘Loathe Thy Neighbour’ is read aloud by Daz here on SoundCloud.