Two murders, committed over three decades apart, set in motion a modern noir detective story that plays out against the chaos of a Britain at odds with itself. As Brexit bites and Britain begins to tear itself apart, DI Reider returns from a manhunt in Europe with a bullet hole in his shoulder and decides it’s time to retire from the force. But Reider hasn’t counted on his first case coming back to haunt him. He hasn’t counted on his career going full circle and he definitely hasn’t counted on Sasha Haye.
Angry and heartbroken, Sasha is seeking answers about the death of her boyfriend and Reider might just be the only person who can help her find them.
Against the backdrop of the referendum and its aftermath, the pair embark on a journey that brings them into contact with extremism, celebrity, politics and the world of vintage porn, as they attempt to unravel a murderous knot with threads that lead into the dark heart of the establishment, and a past which has a cold and unrelenting grip on the present.
When and where do you prefer to write?
Twenty Sixteen was written in a remote Yorkshire farmhouse during lockdown, I wrote every night from midnight until around 3 or 4am and banged it out. We’ve moved since, the next one will be written at the kitchen table. Wherever it happens it will happen at night though. I like the ideas that come at night,
Do you need peace and quiet when you are writing?
Sometimes silence is the key. Other times I like podcasts or music burbling away in the background. The chapter titles from Twenty Sixteen are the names of whatever the last song I listened to was. My 11 year-old son Tom stayed over at the farmhouse a lot and he likes staying up late too so I’d chat to him while I was writing.
If you had the chance to co-write a book. Whom would it be with?
I’d write one with my partner, the visual artist Siena Barnes. It would be about how to have a good time and not give a fuck what anyone else thinks.
Say someone asks if they can use your name in a book. Would you rather be the ‘good one’ or the ‘bad one’?
Either. Just make sure I’m wearing decent shoes.
Who would you like/have liked to interview?
My dad died when I was five. I’d like to sit down with him for a couple of hours.
Where can I find you when you are reading?
You can’t. I’m hiding.
Where can I find you wen you are not writing/reading?
I deal in antiques so I could be at the shop or buying stock. I’ve just started a business too, manufacturing carpet bags and homewares so I might be hunting out vintage carpets or strong brass zips or trying to find a decent feather cushion filler for less than a fiver. I might be out with Tom and Siena drinking hot chocolate somewhere. I’m in auction houses a lot. I might be cooking. I make amazing chips.
What goes through your mind when you hold your new book in your hands for the first time?
I picked up the first book I wrote from Pan Macmillan in Kings Cross and sat on a bus to Stoke Newington just staring at it. It felt magical and disappointing at the same time. There’s some truth to the idea that a book is the record of the author falling out of love with their subject.
How do you come up with a title for your book?
Oh man. I went through a bunch of titles for this one. It was called No Such Thing as Ghosts for a while, then Murder Means Murder. The first title was The Lost Goodbyes, which is rubbish.
I like Twenty Sixteen as a title. It’s a nice tip of the hat to David Peace and George Orwell.
How do you pick a cover for your book?
The new one is a still from one of Siena’s witchy arthouse go-go movies. It’s of her, dancing in leopard skin lingerie beneath a full moon. It doesn’t get much better than that.
About the Author
Lee Bullman has something of a chequered past but he did once meet Michael Caine on a boat.
He is the author of the best-selling crime memoir Blowback, a collector of early 1960s R’n’B blasters and doesn’t really believe in anything.
When not writing he buys and sells antiques and loves a decent nineteenth century tapestry.
He has a son called Tom and lives with the visual artist Siena Barnes in the birthplace of the gothic imagination where they are restoring a nice old house and happily living the dream.