New Books: A Slow Fall and Pfeffles and Piffles

A Slow Fall by Mark Ayling

Alistair Duncan is nearly killed and it’s unclear this is an accident or deliberate attempt on his life. He returns from hospital to find his girlfriend has thrown him out and he takes refuge with Jon, a War Gaming loner with perceptive insight into people. Ally’s ex-wife goes missing and he is framed for her murder by a struggling painter with no talent who is having an affair with both Ally’s girlfriend and ex-wife. Meanwhile an Asian policeman suffering from a terminal condition and his female partner get caught up in these people lives which reaches a murderous conclusion.

There are ambiguous and unfulfilled relationships between the characters and all to a greater or lesser extent are living in a society they cannot fully participate in. The major themes are of being displaced and marginalised, of racism and the mediocrity of those included.

About the Author:

Mark Ayling lives and works in central London. Authors who have influenced his writing include Elmore Leonard, J G Ballard, Albert Camus, Philip K. Dick, Cormac McCarthy, Charles Bukowski and William Boyd. Mark previously published two other novels entitled Lying Down with Dogs and Dead Men Float and aims to carry on writing and producing quirky, thought-provoking novels. 

Excerpt from the book:

“High up on the cliff, a man with an arm like a piglet squinted through his telescopic sight. In front of him, a book of handwritten poems had fallen open at the page Uncle Cyril and Auntie Phyllis were Swingers. The scanning crosshairs momentarily paused to watch the seagulls leave muddy imprints as primitive as bow and arrow etchings on a cave wall.

Ally flicked at the red spot with ever more urgent motions, yet each time it rode serenely over his strokes and the contempt on Maggie’s face was obvious. The hat and scarf he’d carefully arranged that morning to keep the wind off his chest, now made him feel trapped and unable to breathe.

Suddenly there was the sound of a stone thudding into mud. Except it wasn’t a stone. Maggie stumbled and her bag fell to the floor spilling the shells she had painstakingly collected. A crimson worm emerged from her nose; it was the same colour as her lipstick. She dropped to her knees. Ally couldn’t work out what was going on. Should he get help? But there wasn’t anyone around, just the sand that circled ever more frantically. As her eyes locked with his, he glimpsed deep within them dark roiling waves like the oceans of a fading planet on which the last solitary creature was dying alone.”

“A Slow Fall”can be ordered from Amazon.co.uk in paperback at:

or downloaded in e-book format from Amazon.co.uk at:

Press/Media Contact:

Literary Agent: The Inspira Group
Contact: Darin Jewell, Managing Director
E-mail: darin@theinspiragroup.com
Tel. 0208 292 5163

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Pfeffles and Piffles

‘THE DREGS OF HIS STEADFAST OPTIMISM’

The government of Boris Johnson represented a new low in British politics. Written during the final phase of an administration destined to fail, ‘Boris Johnson Pfeffles and Piffles’ describes what happened and when. Recalled are the false promises and self-serving arguments of a government that will be remembered by many for its corruption and incompetence.

‘Boris Johnson Pfeffles and Piffles’ is more than an almanac that insists we should not forget. Connections are made between long lasting underachievement of the UK economy, the Johnson fiasco and the increasingly gloomy prospects for the future. Combining humour and belligerent analysis, ‘Boris Johnson Pfeffles and Piffles’ digs into the hard to credit chaos created by myopic and irresponsible politicians.

Author Howard Jackson is a proud Jeremiah slugger. With a wide grin and a few chuckles, he takes his two fists and assaults with relish the supposedly invisible hand of neoliberalism.

About the Author:

Howard Jackson was born on Merseyside and has spent most of his life in Liverpool. He has had thirteen other books which have been published by Red Rattle Books including Treat Me Nice, Innocent Mosquitoes, No Money Honey, Nightmares Ahead, Choke Bay, Horror Pickers, Mean And Dark, Nightmares And Lying Rogues, Light Work, No Tall Heels To Tango, Offended Shadows, Long After This and Go Break Bad.

Excerpt from the book:

“The defenders of Pfeffel and his witless cronies say that it was unreasonable to have expected an operational plan to combat Covid.  Well, Singapore had one, and it worked because they have had far fewer Covid deaths.  The plan they used was created by British civil servants and health officials.  Pfeffel and his mates dumped that plan.  And now, despite high rates of infection and stubborn death rates from Covid, they are abandoning all Covid restrictions and preventative processes.  Liberated from tiresome responsibility and taking advantage of a gaze deflected by the conflict in Ukraine, Pfeffel will resort to his libertarian dream of herd immunity.  He will be assisted by the somewhat nutty Ayn Rand devotee Sajid Javid.  On 27/2/2020 a Sage meeting predicted that 80% of the UK Population would be infected with Covid, 54m people.  Sage predicted that of these 1% would die, that is over half a million people.  This was the nightmare scenario that the British government found acceptable.  The lockdowns and furloughs arrived in Britain after it became clear that other countries were taking action to reduce the number of Covid deaths and support their economies.  The impulse to vaccinate against Covid produced initial success but it only happened because the government had to do something to mitigate the chaos they had created.  I may no longer be infected with Covid but, like many, I am tired, tired of these clowns.”

BORIS JOHNSON – PFEFFLES AND PIFFLES by Howard Jackson is available from bookshops & online in the UK, Europe, USA and Australia and in paperback from Amazon at:

and in e-book format from Amazon at:

For info. about Red Rattle Books, see: http://www.redrattlebooks.co.uk

Press/Media Contact Details:

Howard Jackson
Managing Director
Red Rattle Books
E-mail: jacksonhoward09@googlemail.com