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London’s Falling: Crime fact and Crime fiction

October 10, 2012

I have stated before that fact and fiction can have a symbiotic relationship when it comes to crime genre novels. For example Mario Puzo used a number of actual events to inspire his ground-breaking crime novel The Godfather. He has written (The Godfather Papers) of how when telling stories about Frank Sinatra’s career and the wars between various mafia crime families in New York in the 1930’s a literary agent caught wind of this and offered him a contract. The rest as they say is history. The novel of course broke all records as a bestseller at that time as did the film which remains a matchless classic of cinematography. This was a case of life informing fiction with unintended consequences that played out in the national arena.

A movement organised by the Colombo mafia family called the Italian-American anti-defamation league was formed in order to intimidate those involved in the making of the film. Later, after the movie had made such a tremendous impact on American culture and beyond, US Mafioso aped the words and mannerisms of characters such a Don and Michael Corleone.

I began writing my novel London’s Falling early in the 21st century while I was living and working in London. I couldn’t help but notice tensions between some radical Muslims and the wider community. One particular individual stood out and his name is Abu Hamza. With one eye and a hook prosthesis, reportedly following an attempt to make a bomb, this Imam was the scourge of London with his calls to arms against the infidels and so on and so on. He has now been deported to the US where he will stand trial for terrorist activities.

These and other events informed my novel London’s Falling which features a radical Islamic cleric who incites a city wide riot in London. Just such a riot of course occurred last year in London and more than a few people thought these troubles might have carried over into the Olympics. A hugely stepped up- security presence helped prevent this and the games went on without incident.

A few weeks ago there was a similar albeit much smaller disturbance in Sydney which was also inflamed by some home grown Islamo-fascists. With the ten year anniversary of the Bali bombings these issues are as topical as ever.

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