Mel Croucher | Latest Fiction

Writing fiction is a deluded labour of love. The hours are long and the pay is lousy. Especially when Mel insists on giving away great chunks for free in the hope that enough people will buy a paperback or ebook version of the real thing. Here's the latest news on what has just been published, and what's in the pipeline.

Devil's Acre (Acorn Books, 2016)

Devil's Acre by Mel Croucher

The world's largest building collapses in flames as terrorists launch weapons of mass destruction against the civilian population. Except this time the target is His Majesty's Royal Dockyard. The superpower is England. The terrorists are American. And it's 1776. Shock and awe, as a media war sows the seeds of fear, and panic sweeps the nation. The conspirators behind the atrocities are revealed to include a transvestite aristocrat, a crippled media baron and an alcoholic child, all holed up in the navy's favourite brothel. Welcome to Devil's Acre.

Mel Croucher is a native son of the streets and alleys known as Devil's Acre, Portsmouth, home of the Royal Navy. A third-generation 'dockyard matey', he was a surveyor of the Royal Dockyard by his early twenties, then an architect specialising in ancient buildings and historic bawdy houses. In 1972 he proposed to raise Henry VIII's sunken flagship Mary Rose and designed a museum structure for her, next to Nelson's HMS Victory in Portsmouth Dockyard. The unique vessel was eventually raised in 1982, and the world-class Mary Rose Museum opened on Mel's proposed site in 2013.

What the critics say about his work:

"Staggeringly original, unique and impressive."
The Sunday Times

"High concept, demanding, and not a little repulsive. A masterpiece."
Edge

"Mature, well-written and nicely comic."
Ken Follett

Mel Croucher now turns his imagination and storytelling skills to the characters and locations he loves best, with The Dockyard Quartet.
He has chosen to release Devil's Acre before the others in the series.

You are welcome to download a major extract from DEVIL'S ACRE for free by clicking HERE, and enjoy it so much that you want to devour it all from HERE.

THE DOCKYARD QUARTET

For four centuries, through one remarkable family, the power of the world's greatest Dockyard lies in the brothel below its walls.

Broadside by Mel Croucher Devil's Acre by Mel Croucher Ironclad by Mel Croucher Firewatcher by Mel Croucher

BROADSIDE
July 1545. The French fleet is set to destroy Henry VIII's mighty dockyard, but the monks of Santiago have launched a punishment for the King's heresy far more lethal than an armada - bubonic plague. As Henry watches his revolutionary flagship Mary Rose sail toward the enemy, one desperate Englishman resolves to stop the plague-carriers from landing. And to do so he must destroy a sailors' brothel, sacrifice 600 blameless men, betray his only son and kill his dog.

DEVIL'S ACRE
The world's largest building collapses and terrorists launch weapons of mass destruction against the civilian population. Except this time the target is His Majesty's Royal Dockyard. The superpower is England. The terrorists are American. And it's 1776. Shock and awe, as a media war sows the seeds of fear, and panic sweeps the nation. The conspirators behind the atrocities are revealed to include a transvestite aristocrat, a crippled media baron and an alcoholic child, all holed up in the navy's favourite brothel. Welcome to Devil's Acre.

IRONCLAD
September 1859. Terrifying lights flash across the night sky as a magnetic storm destroys all telegraph communications. In Portsmouth Dockyard, a skivvy labours at Marc Brunel's relentless assembly-line, aware that even now Brunel's son is creating a new age where machines rule, and workers like her will be reduced to slavery. Across the narrow Channel, the French are about to launch a monstrous battleship, whose mechanical engines and armaments will render the entire British fleet obsolete and threaten the Empire. Ironclad is the story of a woman from the Devil's Acre brothels, struggling against the future and out for revenge.

FIRE-WATCHER
January 10, 1941. Hitler orders his Luftwaffe to destroy Portsmouth Dockyard before Germany invades England. Too old to fight for King and country, a vaudeville illusionist becomes Fire-Watcher over the Dockyard reliquary that bears his family name. As the incendiaries fall on the brothels of his beloved Devil's Acre, he discovers the means to pull off the greatest illusion in modern warfare. But first he must fight the Admiralty to save the home of the British navy from destruction.

The Dockyard Quartet, by Mel Croucher, Acorn Books