In an obvious attempt to capture the - It's Father's Day but there's nothing in the shops worth queueing for or remotely suitable for my ageing, cantankerous and generally unpleasant father - Father's Day Gift Market, the Threadbone Press espionage imprint - ThreadboneSpyClub - has published a first novel by former children's author turned adult fiction writer Guy S Marsh. Featuring the exploits of Britain's number one "burnt out" spy - Bryton Piers - Our Man in Hammoon is the first in a projected series of novels recounting the exploits of the dissipated ex-Cold War spook and now freelance undercover adventurer.
"Nothing says I am a dutiful son or daughter but don't expect me to wipe your arse when you can't do it yourself, like a book", says Human Social Interactive Semiotics expert Bodey Lang-Widge. "It's the equivalent of 2 metre psychological social distancing: it acknowledges a presence and even a link but steadfastly refuses to celebrate it or invest it with too much meaning." "A novel about a flawed human being who has spent much time away from home, acts secretively, eschews family values and probably has meaningless sex on a regular basis on the other side of the world is the perfect metaphor for most husbands and almost every father I have ever come across", adds the hard-bitten and clearly jaded Ms Lang-Widge. Not that she is ungrateful to her own father. "He buggered off when I was six which is why I became a distant social observer, case-hardened analyst and rampant man-hater. In my profession that counts as a leg up."
In the meantime the Threadbone Press and Our Man in Hammoon's author Guy S Marsh are hoping for brisk sales and a Hollywood film deal. "We believe hero Bryton Piers is the perfect vehicle for engineering a comeback for some washed out British Gaumont Studios B movie rué", says press publicist Nochem Owtcheep, "we were thinking of that guy who played Lauderdale in Dixon of Dock Green, or if they decide to go edgy, that Denis Börst-Watermain who has the added advantage that he could sing the title song as well".
For the time being, however, all that is pure fantasy and Guy is concentrating on writing Bryton Piers' next adventure. Our Man in Hammoon depended on its steamy and exotic location as a basic plot driver [our hero does a lot of sweating and much of his undercover work is undertaken in an ultra-light high-tech boiler suit]; the next novel will be more narrative-driven. "I am hoping to do something that's never been done before - so far my idea is that Piers finds a dead naked woman covered in gold in a hotel bedroom. He then has to find out who killed her and who is going to attempt to remove his testicles with a laser beam before he can foil a plot to steal all the world's gold. Working title? I thought possibly "The Fat German", but I am working on it".