“Back Dated has an original and interesting plot that engages the reader very quickly and holds them right up to the end. Niblock maintains tension and interest throughout and Ray Flaxman is a flawed but interesting character. This is a book from an author with great potential.”
Jill Murphy – The Bookbag
Sci-fi writer Ray Flaxman has a jealous fiancee, a secret admirer and a deadline to meet. He doesn’t need any more trouble, but then a strange young woman turns up at his flat: is she his secret admirer, an obsessed fan or a blackmailer?
The truth is even more startling and a lot more dangerous. Ray is forced to emulate the hero of his novels in order to ensure, not just his own survival but that of the male half of the human race.
“In the lounge, the entire contents of a large bookcase had been thrown out onto the floor. Spines broken, dust covers ripped off, the precious volumes lay there like a flock of birds with broken wings.”
“The contrast when I crested the hill couldn’t have been greater: beyond the parkland lay the City of London, its glass towers and spires glowing in the morning sunlight like the New Jerusalem. Somewhere amongst all that glitter and glass that reflected everything back at you, revealed nothing of what went on inside, Frankie and her band of actors and technicians were playing cops and robbers, but as we all knew now, it was the Politicians and the Bankers who were the real villains of the piece.”
“She was so close, I could see the tiny beads of perspiration that had gathered in the notch at the base of her throat, the quickened beat of her heart pulsing in a vein in her neck. Our eyes caught and held for a moment, then each of us, embarrassed by this shared moment of intimacy, turned away and busied ourselves with other matters.”
“One look into their eyes and I knew I was in big trouble: there was nothing there. It was like gazing into the eyes of the dead. Testosterone oozed from every pore and fibre, reminding me of those Russian female shot putters and javelin throwers from the Cold War period, whose gender couldn’t be determined, even after exhaustive scientific tests. Bond got Pussy Galore. I’d got the ugly sisters, but there would be no pantomime play acting from these two: these ‘Ladies’ meant business.”
List of Characters
Ray Flaxman: Sci-fi writer. Author of The Halgaar Chronicles. Engaged to Francesca Verde.
Francesca ‘Frankie’ Verde: TV Producer of the hit cop show The Squad. Ray’s fiancée.
Doctor Celia Sandford: Gynaecologist and fertility expert.
Serena: ‘Little Miss Lonely Hearts’. Ray’s stalker.
Maurice Mercer: a.k.a. ‘Mighty Mo’ Mercer. Ex-boxer and small time criminal with a penchant for violence.
D.C. Wells: Detective based in South London.
Bors: fictional hero of The Halgaar Chronicles.
Princess Twala: Sole surviving member of the Halgaan Royal Family.
Nigel Sedgewick: Ray Flaxman’s editor at Off World Publications.
Dave: Bearded computer games developer. Lives in flat below Ray Flaxman.
Father Thomas: Village Priest.
Mrs Morgan: Father Thomas’s garrulous housekeeper.
Nutmeg: Daughter of Mrs Morgan.
Joel: Younger member of the rebel faction.
Jacko: Sadistic member of the guard based at The Citadel.
Sister Irma and Sister Tanya: The ‘testosterone twins’ and pain mongers of Room 13.
Sister Jessica: Senior member of the ruling party.
Trevor Locket: Locksmith.
Frank Harrison: Hack writer. Despised by Ray Flaxman.