Barney Thomson Book 4: THE RESURRECTION OF BARNEY THOMSON
19 December 2012
The fourth Barney Thomson novel was written at a time when my kids were pretty young. The age of nursery rhymes and Winnie the Pooh and the always execrable JJ The Jet Plane. This fed into some sort of concept for the novel. Even before I'd started, the book had the title THE KING WAS IN HIS COUNTING HOUSE, and the opening segment of the novel features a somewhat contrived piece about someone lying in bed thinking about nursery rhymes. It was my intention that this would continue through the book as some sort of motif. Then it didn't.
You know how it is with writers; the characters took over, the story told itself, blah blah blah-diddy blah… However, the character at the centre of the story - Barney Thomson notwithstanding - is the infamous Jesse Longfellow-Moses, the First Minister of Scotland, and since he conducts his political tenure as though he were royalty, I never considered changing the title.
Now, as a result of one of the Blasted Heath publishing supremos chatting to a guy in a pub, for the publication of the new ebook edition of Barney Thomson #4, the old nursery rhyme title has been shelved, and replaced with the more memorable, and even more apposite: THE RESURRECTION OF BARNEY THOMSON.
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The door opened and a young woman walked in, carrying a tray of breakfast materials. She smiled, her teeth were extraordinarily white, and she was dressed in dark blue. Neatly cut trousers and a top with a high, Chinese buttoned neckline. The outfit was edged with very fine red and gold, and had a beautiful presence of its own, of uniformity and of lavish, unnecessary expense.
‘Nice to see you’re awake, Mr Thomson,’ she said, standing properly before him, after laying the tray on a large round table. ‘We weren’t sure what you would like to eat, so there’s a selection.’
He didn’t reply. She was partly blocking the sun so that it was hitting the back of her head and creating a halo effect around her bobbed blonde hair. She was beautiful. Pale. Almost celestial. And Barney Thomson suddenly wondered if he was dead.