Patricia's London

I arrived in London from the North of England as wet behind the ears as my heroine Kate in Dead Beat in 1963 and found myself working as a reporter for the Evening Standard, then one of two fiercely competing newspapers in the capital. The year might sound cool now. It was after all the year the Beatles went from obscure northern band to top of the bill at the London Palladium. But for women working in the man's world of the media it could be tough. But it was certainly interesting. I found myself following the Beatles hysterical fans around one day, doorstepping a cabinet minister in the toils of the Profumo scandal another, and checking out the iniquities of slum landlords the next.

Novels, films and plays, and the fashion industry were stirring into vibrant new life, the train robbers were planning their record heist, some detectives of the Metropolitan police force were milking the criminals they were supposed to be pursuing. And the names still resonate. Harold Wilson became leader of the Labour Party, John Profumo was disgraced, Christine Keeler and Mandy Rice-Davis astonished the nation and the courts, Martin Luther King stirred more than the USA and the world mourned John F Kennedy.

Through all this London was beginning to swing although not always in a happy direction.

I hope you'll agree with me that it's a fascinating and sometimes sombre backdrop for the new series of books which started with Dead Beat and continued with Death Trap in 2012.

Copyright © 2012 Patricia Hall

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