Today on the book review café I’m hosting the blog tour for S5 Uncovered by James Durose-Rayner, and I have a fascinating guest post from the author. S5 Uncovered certainly sound like an intriguing read especially as it’s based around true events
I know S5 Uncovered is about the lower echelons of the city’s underworld – but in all honesty its city centre is quite a nice vibrant place and without sounding like a poor man’s travel guide here goes…..
My favourite Curry House is on The Wicker.
A story here: In 1994 we were going to a curry house on Attercliffe Road (once/twice a week) called Zeenat’s. It was opposite some industrial tool place and a massage parlour – I know – very ‘salubrious’ surroundings; however, the food was quite decent.
One of the waiters – a certain Mohammed Khalid told us of his friend opening a Curry House on The Wicker called the Gulshan Balti House. Me, my wife and both kids were invited to its opening day. We thought it was a nice gesture; however, the said Mr. Khalid wasn’t all he was cracked up to be and had used his friend opening a restaurant to get our phone number, and whilst I was at work he was making play for my wife – true story and what a wanker. Write what you know.
Nevertheless, whilst Mr. Khalid was frustrating himself by barking up the wrong tree so to speak – Quashi – the owner and I became friends – not great friends, but friends, and whilst introducing us to a variety of Kashmiri dishes I mentioned that I’d had to have a few words with Khalid asnd as that was the case we never saw him again.
Quashi ended up selling his restaurant and moving across the road. He now owns Chamans – possibly the greatest curry house I’ve been in – and I’ve been in a few.
There is a downside to The Wicker. Try not to venture off the main thoroughfare between the city centre and Burngreave as it can be quite a dangerous place.
The busy London Road links the city with the Heeley Bridge area of the city. It is a vibrant area filled with every different kind of eatery. West Street is an upmarket version of London Road and is frequented by students from the city’s university. Again, a really nice place and if you fancy a meal – you are spoiled for choice.
Oughtibridge is a beautiful stone built village in north Sheffield – just five minutes’ drive from the ‘Cross. It is quite hilly and the River Don meanders through its valley. It’s a really nice area – so much so we were once thinking of moving there.
One of the career criminals I based one of my characters on in S5 actually lived there. He’s currently doing 26 years for a murder he didn’t commit. He might have known about it, but he certainly didn’t commit it.
Meadowhall is the Americanised shopping centre and mega mall which you can see from the M1 motorway at Tinsley Viaduct. It’s as good a shopping centre as anywhere in the UK and close-by are other retail outlets such as the one on the A6178 at Carbrook – which is home to Carbrook Hall – supposedly the most haunted pub in Britain.
Wortley Hall. The stately home for the working class just off the A616 Stocksbridge bypass. It is a lovely building standing in its own grounds, where I ‘sort of’ lived during something unpleasant happening in our lives. Again, you write what you know and draw from your own experiences.
About the author
James Durose-Rayner has over twenty years’ experience in journalism. He is a member of the Writer’s Guild and the editor of NATM, the UK’s leading specialist civil engineering journal. His writing has been featured in over 210 magazines and his debut indie-novel, S63: Made in Thurnscoe, published in 2001, received positive reviews. In 2015, I Am Sam (Clink Street Publishing) and itv Seven (New Generation Publishing) followed to more affirmative acclaim. Durose-Rayner currently divides his time between the UK and Cyprus.
Links to the author
Based around a series of true events. The BBC’s current affairs programme ‘Panorama’ undertook a sixty minute documentary / exposé surrounding an elite government task force that went undercover in Sheffield over a period of twelve months. Their remit was to use the Proceeds of Crime Act to fill up the police federations coffers using illegally gained intelligence, on one hand overlooking – and in some cases encouraging – major criminal activity such as murder, kidnap and torture; whilst on the other, surreptitiously acquiring pre-bargained guilty pleas from defendants then reneging on deals, which culminated in some of the heaviest sentences ever handed out in the UK. But the programme was never aired.