The Devil’s Book Club

devils-acreAt 11.30 on Monday morning the kettle went on in the HarperFiction kitchen and the biscuits were cracked open early. Five editors, three publicists and a designer tried to work out how to turn on the TV and seven minutes later we had lift off. We tuned in to The TV Book Club just in time to pretend we had all read everything Kafka had ever written and to watch the ads. But then, the moment we had all been waiting for – THE DEVIL’S ACRE and Matthew Plampin were on the telly!

THE DEVIL’S ACRE, Matthew’s second novel tells the story of the short life of Colonel Samuel Colt’s Westminster gun factory, and his newly appointed London secretary, Edward Lowry. A desperate time for London’s poor, Lowry shows us the underbelly of society when he begins an affair with a girl from the factory floor and discovers corruption is rife.

Matt spoke brilliantly about the Victorian London he brought to life in the novel, from the grand establishments still standing today to the fetid slums long forgotten – as Jo Brand put it, this is not a novel you would want to scratch and sniff.

The panel debated, we held our breath…

‘I thought it was terrific … meticulously researched …’

‘That’s a really terrific story to have found and developed …’

‘I loved Caroline …’

Clenched fists relaxed, we ate our crumbled biscuits and toasted a highly successful Monday tea break.

Other Articles

Book Trailer: City on Fire by Don Winslow

The new trailer for Don Winslow's CITY ON FIRE. Exploring classic themes of loyalty, betrayal, honour, and corruption on both sides of the law, City on Fire is a contemporary Iliad from Don Winslow. Read More


We want to hear from you! HarperFiction is proud to launch Killing It: The Killer Reads Competition for undiscovered writers. All you need is a good idea, a passion for the dark side and a dollop of determination! Launching at the start of 2021 on January  7th, this is… Read More

All the events from the crime authors you love

HarperCollins has launched BookGig, a publisher agnostic online events platform that aims to connect authors with new and existing readers following the growth in live author events. Want to meet your favourite author? Get a book signed? Hear them debate the merits of cosy crime versus serial killers? The… Read More