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Strictly No Flowers

Scott Plenty (not his real name) writes crime thrillers. His gruesome slasher novels have taken him to the cusp of the big time. There is a massive new contract in the offing, glory and The Late Review beckons. But Scott wants a change of direction. He wants something more serious,  something more real.  And when he reads about the death of 5,000 French civilians at the hands of Bomber Command in the Second World War he thinks he's stumbled on the book he has to write.

He travels to Le Havre,  France,  and begins digging – only to find himself embarking on a passionate affair with the wife of a university professor struck down by a stroke.  As the truth about the war crime becomes more complex,  the affair deepens.

Scott’s agent flies to le Havre with a couple of TV producers to lure him back to noir crime fiction.  In the shape of a French cannibal,  banged up in Rouen’s infamous La Bonne Nouvelle prison,  they’ve stumbled on an irresistable prime-time property.

Scott doesn’t want to know.  His days as a crime writer are over.  All that matters is Elodie,  his lover,  and the book he’s determined to finish about the slaughter of her forebears.

But nothing in Scott Plenty’s life is simple.  Arrested on a bogus drugs charge,  he finds himself remanded in custody while the full investigation takes place.  The nearest high-security prison?  La Bonne Nouvelle,  home of the French cannibal…

Trapped by circumstances beyond his control,  Scott Plenty awakes to a nightmare seemingly without end.  Sharing a cramped cell with a convicted killer and his twenty year old bitch,  he must confront a series of fictional horrors abruptly made real.  His new cellmate would like to get intimate.  His pleas for a lawyer are ignored.  And somewhere in the depths of La Bonne Nouvelle lurks a man who might want to eat him.

Read on…

And then, out of the blue, Scott is set up in a drugs bust, stopped by the police in possession of 2 kilos of cocaine.

On remand in Rouen’s brutal La Bonne Nouvelle prison he wakes to a nightmare. The drug dealers in the prison see him as a crazy anglais, a rank amateur, foolish enough to try and invade their patch.  A marked man,  he’s easy meat.  Until he is befriended by a killer, a French gangster entranced by the idea that here is a man who can tell his story.

So, chapter by chapter, day by day, Scott's account of his search for the truth becomes a battle for his own survival. If he's to survive until the trumped up charges are overturned he has to keep writing. But who set him up and why? And does Scott really want to know the truth about the sort of man he really is?