Can’t Help But Care by Ian Lewis Copestick

Can’t Help But Care

Sometimes I wonder
why do I bother ?
You can’t seem to
please anyone, any
of the time. Why not
just say ” Fuck ’em all “
and live for yourself.
Never worry about
anybody else at all.
But, it’s not in my
nature, I can’t be that
selfish. You have to
share this world with
other people, and I can’t
help but care. Sometimes
I wish that I could,
but it’s just not in me.
I’m too much of a softie
to turn my back on
them all.

The Suburbs by Ian Lewis Copestick

The Suburbs

Private places,
privet hedges
green lawns,
and total, total
boredom. Grey
skies, identical
houses, hidden
secrets, and
desires. The
suburbs are
terrifying, nothing
is out in the open.
Not upsetting the
neighbours is the
most important
thing in life. I hate
the suburbs, and I
love them. They are
the only thing I’ve
ever known. I truly
believe that there’s
more evil, more lurid
tales, and more sick
crimes happening in
the suburbs than in
the inner city. The
suburbs are where
the criminals move
to when they’ve made
a bit of money. Nobody
looks over their hedges
so no one sees a bloody

£10 per day by Ian Lewis Copestick

£10 per day

The world seems
like a horrible, harsh
place when you’ve
only just received
two weeks worth of
benefits, and already
you are broke. All I
get is £10 per day,
if you’re from a
country where you
don’t receive a thing,
this may seem like a
lot of money. But,
when it’s all you’ve
got to feed, clothe
yourself, keep yourself
warm. Buy deodorant,
shaving foam, razors,
shower gel, shoes, and
all the other little things
that you don’t think of.
Then you realise, it’s
nothing at all. I’ve paid
at least, thirty years
of income tax, so I
reckon that they must
owe me something.
I never asked them to
spend it on nuclear
weapons, or illegal
wars. So, the way I
see it, they owe me
a lot more than
£10 per day. At
least enough to reasonably live on.

No One Escapes by Ian Lewis Copestick

No One Escapes

I’m walking past the local
Minimart, about six feet in
front of me is a car with
loud, but cheesy hip hop
blaring out. Dope smoke is
pouring out of the windows.
In the driver’s seat, I see a
real, fucking dickhead. He
only looks like a teenager,
but he gives me a filthy look.
He’s trying to stare me out.
I see a very young, dyed
blonde girl in the shotgun
seat, and two teenage
lads in the back.
I think, ” There’s three of
them, only one of me. “
So I avert my stare from
Three, or four steps on, I
begin to feel shame, or guilt.
Whatever it is, so I turn, stare
him straight in the eye until
he looks away.
But, we both know that he
won. I was the first one to
look away.
Not only did I look away
first, but I’m nearly 50
I bet he isn’t even 20.
So I’ve lost in every way
that I possibly can.
Oh well, it’ll happen to
him too.
No one escapes

The Big Job by Ian Lewis Copestick

The Big Job

Well, I’ve got my gang
I’ve got my sawn off
I’ve got my plans
They’re all drawn up
I know the day
I know the time
When the benefits are paid
When the money arrives
We’ve got a van we stole
About a month ago
Hidden in a lock up
That nobody knows
The chassis number has
Been ground away
Now it cones around
It’s our pay day
We’ve got a Merc, a B.M.W.
A Golf G.T.I.
If it comes on top
We’ve got to fly
You gotta keep every
Piece screwed down
You wouldn’t believe the
Grasses in this town
Every guy who supplies
You with a motor
You can’t let them know
What it’s gonna be used for
Or else he’s giving it the big
man in all the pubs
And you might as well
Just give up.
All the stress builds and builds
Too much and it can make you ill
I can’t let my plans screw up
Spent too long planning this job
I can’t take another stretch inside
I’d top myself first, just from pride
My wife would disown me too
By the time I got out
The kids would be leaving school
I can’t let this job go wrong
I’m the big man, I gotta be strong

Well, today’s the day
My bowels are loose
I’ve got the shooters
And the boiler suits
The ski masks and latex gloves
Are in the B.M.’s boot
I don’t want to, but if
I have to I’ll shoot.

Now it’s 12 hours later
And I’m on the run
Dumped the boiler suits, ski
Masks and most of the guns
The Golf G.T.I., well
It just broke down
There’s two security guards
In the hospital down town
I don’t dare think about
My missus and kids
I don’t want to think about
What we just did
When shotgun pellets
Hit human skin
The blood and flesh flies
Your Head it spins
I know the pigs are
Hot on my trail
I can’t face another
10 years in jail
I put the sawn off
Shotgun to my lips
I hear a police loud hailer
And my finger slips

Nitrous Oxide by Ian Lewis Copestick

Nitrous Oxide

Everywhere I go I
see tiny, empty gas
canisters lying in
the gutter. They look
like the ones that my
uncle used to put the
fizz into his home-brewed
lager, except they were
green, where these
ones are bright silver.
Someone told me
that they are laughing
gas canisters.
Apparently, nitrous
oxide is the latest cool
drug for hipsters to
take. Where they buy
it from, or how they
use it, I do not know.
But, for all of these
two, or three inch
long silver tin things
that I keep seeing
everywhere, I never
seem to see anyone

Just A Dream? by Ian Lewis Copestick

PhotoFunia-1590567085Just A Dream ?

I know I’m getting older,
what once was fury, is
now just sadness.
Where my blood would
boil, and I’d grind my
teeth, now I just shake
my head in disbelief.
I suppose you just get
used to people letting
you down. At one time
I’d shout, now I just
frown. Nearly all of my
idealism has been
beaten out of me, both
metaphorically, and
physically. It’s the last
thing I want to be, a
cynical, old shit, but
it’s where life has led
me, I can’t deny it.

I really wish someone
would prove me wrong.
Instead of selling out, be
pure and strong. Show
that socialism isn’t just
a nice dream, but a
workable, practical
scheme. Show that
money isn’t the only
deity, that we can have
a fair, equal society.
One race, the human
race, one people, one
blood. If one hurts, we,
all hurt. Universal love.

Yes, I’m a dreamer, but
I’m not the only one. Yes,
this is the world that we
could live upon.

John Wisniewski interviews Dominic Adler

41+WWTnmZPL._SY346_How did your career of being a law enforcement officer aid you in your writing, Dominic?

We all have a hinterland, and mine was 25 years in the Metropolitan Police. London’s a genuine metropolis and I rubbed shoulders with some incredible characters, a gift for any writer. For example, my first novel, ‘The Ninth Circle’ was partly-inspired by a stint working on the Alexander Litvinenko murder investigation. One of the lines in the book comes from a Russian I came across (“where’s the only place you find free cheese? In a mousetrap”). As a thriller writer, it’s not a bad primer; the police taught me how to handle firearms, drive fast cars, follow someone without them knowing – sexy stuff which I wasn’t remotely gifted at. I was happier talking to people, which I like to think is a more important skill for a detective.

I think my old job had a technical impact on how I approach my writing too – I would prepare intelligence reports, statements and requests for stuff like surveillance or financial investigations or forensic support. It helped develop an eye for detail, structure and working to deadlines. And the UK police five-part statement model is a solid way of presenting a story. I’ve used it to clarify scenes, writing the same incident from different points-of-view. As a writing exercise, it’s solid.

Lastly, after a quarter of a century in that world I developed a decent contacts book. It’s full of weird and wonderful people to ask questions if I need to.

When did you begin writing? 

When I was nine or ten. I’d hammer out adventures for role-playing games on my dad’s typewriter (Gary Gygax, co-author of ‘Dungeons and Dragons’ was my earliest literary influence). As a teenager I started my own twisted humour magazine called ‘Swamp’ (circulation – about six of my friends). At college I was a student journalist, writing a scabrous gossip column and movie reviews. Eventually the itch to write my own novel really, really needed to be scratched. I started one on an A4 pad, scribbling in biro, when I was a young patrol officer. I remember trying to describe what it was like to work night-shifts, about what a special place London became after dark. Of course, it was awful, but you have to start somewhere.

Any favourite suspense/crime authors?

I’ll give you two of my favourite crime writers. The first is Philip Kerr (for his Bernie Gunther detective thrillers, set in Nazi Germany). Bernie is probably my favourite character in fiction – a decent man in a fucked-up world, someone who can’t help but end up with blood on his hands, but prepared to pay the price for his sins. The second is Mark Timlin, whose late 80s / early 90s Nick Sharman books are hard-boiled gems set in south London: Cocaine. Threesomes with strippers. Sharp suits. Gun porn. Car chases in souped-up Sierra Cosworths. Rock stars. And did I mention LONDON! Read them now, especially if you like a walk on the wild side – Timlin was a roadie for rock bands before he became a writer. I’ll admit to being heavily influenced by Timlin when writing the Cal Winter thrillers. If he ever reads this, I hope he gets in touch and I’ll buy him a disgracefully boozy lunch (you choose where, Mark). Maybe with bang-bang chicken, one of Sharman’s favourites.

How does your interest in military history and technology in warfare affect your writing?

I did a History degree and was an army reservist. I think my obsession with military history helps when writing military characters – you quickly realise soldiers are very tribal. Cal Winter’s an ex-army officer and even though he’s cashiered in disgrace, he needs the balm of camaraderie as much as the buzz of action. To give another example of how real-world history inspires me, my latest book (Timberwolf), is a crazy science-fantasy set in a world analogous to the 1940s. One of the key scenes is based on the German airborne assault on Eben-Emael. If I wasn’t a history geek, I would never have heard of it.

As for technology, I love gadgets and toys. Oh, and tanks. I love tanks. Personally I blame watching too many Bond movies as a kid (except for tanks, unless we’re talking about Pierce Brosnan driving a T-55 in Goldeneye). Then, towards the end of my career, I became an online investigator. I was exposed to social engineering methodologies and what the military would call ‘information warfare’. I got completely hooked on how the Internet was becoming a battlefield domain. That led to me writing ‘The Saint Jude Rules’, which I didn’t realise was actually me, oracle-like, partially shadowing the world of shit that is 2020. See? I was an information warfare hipster, back before it was cool.

41TnZ5v0saL._SX322_BO1,204,203,200_Could you tell us about writing “The Devil’s Work“? What inspired this novel?

‘The Devil’s Work’ is the second Cal Winter novel. I wanted to write an over-the-top action thriller based on movies like ‘The Wild Geese’ and ‘Where Eagles Dare’, but set in the 21st Century. A story with impossible commando raids and double-crosses. I’d also read about how China was buying up vast chunks of Africa, which I thought made for an interesting back-story.

I spoke to a couple of friends who know Africa well about world-building, then spoke with an ex-SBS guy over a pint about how you’d drop a RIB from a helicopter… and the rest fell into place from there. The scene where Cal meets a journalist in a flyblown African bar was more or less pilfered from a bloke I know who was a warzone news cameraman. Then I needed to create a bunch of gnarly mercenaries to join Cal and his sidekick Oz. They were inspired by tough-guy movies like ‘The Dirty Dozen’ and ‘Con Air’ (you’ve got no heart if you don’t love that movie) – I ended up with a dread-locked Scottish ex-paratrooper, gangster twins from East London who served in the Foreign Legion and a Russian-American sniper who comes along for the ride.

Funny story: I was working in a Criminal Intelligence unit when I wrote the book, so was required to submit the script for vetting. As the book features a troubled SIS (MI6) team, my bosses decided to send it over to Vauxhall Cross for the spooks to take a look. As it happens, SIS wanted me to change one tiny thing – and this is the most British thing ever – they just asked politelyThere was no suggestion of an order, just a “would you mind awfully, old chap?” Who was I to disobey Her Majesty’s Secret Intelligence Service? I’m not allowed to say what it was, so I won’t, except it had nothing to do with their reputation. I thought, all things being equal, they were cool about it.

What will your next novel be about?

I wear two writing hats (I’m such a rebel) – Thrillers and Speculative Fiction. On the thriller front I’m toying with a fourth Cal Winter story and I’ve also got 40,000 words down on a story about police corruption. It’s set on the Thames Estuary where London meets Kent – smuggling country. An ex-anti-corruption cop joins forces with a gangster’s widow to take down a criminal gang, who themselves are in the shit with the Albanian mafia (the Amazon-meets-Uber of European organised crime). Think ‘The Departed’ meets ‘The Long Good Friday’, with counter-espionage and the Isle of Sheppey. I do love glamorous locations. On the speculative fiction front, I’m also writing a sequel to ‘Timberwolf’. It’s got some good reviews and I really enjoyed writing it.

Any suspense/foreign intrigue movies that you like?

Okay you asked… Heat, Ronin, The Dirty Dozen, LA Confidential, Hanna, all of the ‘Bourne’ movies (even the dodgy one with Jeremy Renner), John Wick 1-400, Man on Fire (of course Chris Walken gets the best line: a man can be an artist… in anything, food, whatever. It depends on how good he is at it. Creasy’s art is death. He’s about to paint his masterpiece), Nikita, Reservoir Dogs, Die Hard, The Last Boy Scout, Way of the Gun, Snatch, In Bruges, Get Carter, The Long Good Friday, Layer Cake, No Country for Old Men, virtually any Bond movie, Leon, The Long Kiss Goodnight. I could go on, I devour this stuff whenever I can. And some great TV? Altered Carbon (first series), The Man in the High Castle, Babylon Berlin, The Boys, The Punisher, Fauda and The Bureau.

How do you create your characters?

They pop into my head semi-formed, then I start writing detailed profiles in my trusty notebook. Eventually, if I’m lucky, a character emerges. For others I open my mental rolodex of people I met at work, there are thousands of ‘em. Obviously, they’re heavily disguised, or composites. I think writing is a privilege and I hate bullying or betraying confidences – even for people I don’t like.

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