Douging His Own Graves?
In what is described by his literary agent - Buck Reeder - as a new departure, Doug Graves has moved into - or perhaps even invented - a new literary genre - True Fiction. "Doug has moved into - or perhaps even invented - a new literary genre", he said. "We are calling it True Fiction, in order to emphasise that it's a mixture of truth [fact] and fiction which is to say not wholly factual but not wholly fictional either". "We thought of calling it Friction", he continued, "but the term was already taken and, once we had looked it up on Bonipedia, we didn't like some of the implication it carries - all that rubbing and discomfort. So instead we've called it True Fiction of Traction for short".*
* A term also in common usage and implying something under a deal of stress.
Fans of Mr Graves' detective Inspector Allardyce are likely to be disappointed that the popular detective is given a rest in the new book which introduces us instead to the Head of L'Autorités Suisses - Commissaire Totál Buggér - a crime fighting chief with a shady past who is not above stepping outside both convention and the law in pursuit of his quarry. Something of a washed-up maverick, the Commissaire is on "gardening leave" at the start of the story, having mistakenly arrested and successfully arrested, beaten-up and prosecuted the same wrong man [who just happens to be his wife's lover] half a dozen times in the past five years. However, the disappearance of an English Professor from a prestige Geneva hotel room in mysterious circumstances, forces L'Autorités Suisses to bring the pernod-sodden Buggér in from the cold. When evidence of the involvement of an international criminal organisation - FIFA - comes to light, Buggér must use all that remains of his once razor-sharp mind to track down the culprit(s) and force the organisation's villainous President to face justice.
Publishers the Threadbone Press are confident that loyal Doug Graves readers will follow him on this new adventure though concede that introducing Sheena-Paulette Soapstone as Buggér's English-speaking sidekick will divide opinion. "Sheena-Paulette is a colourful figure and a strong female role model", says the University of Afpuddle's Head of Diversity, Opportunity Delivery and Equal Outcomes Czar Saschal Injun-Earing. "She is an important feminist statement and a counter-balance to the testosterone-fuelled Buggér. However, her alleged association with the missing Professor would, in real life, almost certainly exclude her from taking any part in the investigation. Still, in the book she is a crucial sexually-ambiguous plot driver and that makes it wholly acceptable - perhaps necessary - in the present climate even if some may feel it detracts from the novel's otherwise hard-won sense of verisimilitude".
The Threadbone Press's Head of Marketing Eyson Demaine-Chance conceded that there was "perhaps a slight whiff of political correctness" in the new story but defended it on commercial grounds. "Allardyce is such a man's man we may soon have to withdraw the entire series less it offend some of our LGBTE subscribers, this way Doug is guaranteed to have something in the shops come Yom Kippur. We certainly hope ie, sie, ey, ve, ten, e will be pleased. If not zieself, hirself, eirself, verself, terself, emself can f**k off. At least we've tried."