London Games – The Novel
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It is 2012. Britain is slowly emerging from the longest and deepest recession for 100 years. It has been a dark and difficult time. The London Olympics are now just a few months away. The whole country is hoping that the games will provide the inspiration and renewal that it needs.
London Games follows five characters through the spring and summer of 2012, culminating as the games open at the Olympic stadium. It is a gripping tale of relationships and dramatic personal experience. It concerns an Afghanistan veteran suffering from combat stress, a disgraced ex-banker sent to jail amidst scandal and public outrage, a cocaine dealer with customers at the very top and the very bottom of society, a property developer on the cusp of making his fortune and a restauranteur starting to make his name as a celebrity chef. At times it plumbs the depths of London’s sordid underworld yet it also catches an uplifting mood and celebrates the city’s unique history and environment. It examines crime and punishment as well as food and drugs, love and ambition. Ultimately it reveals a bond between the most unlikely of friends, thrown together in an extraordinary and thrilling climax with a redemptive message of hope and optimism.
Sir Damian Fremantle experiences the shock of his first night in Brixton prison while Susan is confused between shoplifting in Sainsbury’s and bomb disposal in Helmand province. Clive Dumonde is still mourning the death of his parents as he struggles to understand what’s involved in developing a multi-million pound property in Notting Hill. His business angel Mark is also an investor in the uber-hip and trendy Vermont restaurant just around the corner. Meanwhile, Mo, or Big M as his customers call him, is living the hectic, stressed-out life of a cocaine dealer, supplying crack to streetwalkers one minute and top grade powder to city bankers the next.
John George is on the brink of becoming London’s top chef. It is a constant struggle to devise new dishes while coping with the relentless pressure for perfection. As the guests become ever more famous, so the financial pressures increase, the staff becomes more difficult and the vanilla vodka bottle in his desk becomes his best friend. Then, without warning, the scales fall from his eyes and the sous chef who he has barely noticed for months is transformed into the love of his life.
The pressure on Mo never lets up. His customers call all day and all night. He is always looking over his shoulder, expecting to see a blue light in his mirror or hear a knock on the door. Then, for no good reason, his principal supplier accuses him of passing counterfeit money and Mo is in a race for his life with both the police and violent gangsters.
Susan finds herself locked up and heavily sedated. She thought she was doing her duty but she has committed a dreadful crime that will have consequences for the rest of her life. What future or hope can there be for someone who has been a hero, trained as a killing machine but now behaves like a homicidal maniac?
Five characters, products of their time, all on an inevitable path as their stories intertwine and we glimpse a post-2012 Britain, rejuvenated, reinvigorated, ever more complicated, challenging and exciting – a Great Britain.