Books and journalism


I’ve published four novels to date. They all feature Charles Horton, a Regency waterman-constable and a detective who doesn’t know he’s a detective, because the word doesn’t exist yet. He investigates a series of occurrences which are both inexplicable and terrifying and, as it it turns out, astonishingly weird. The books can be read in order, or as standalone titles.

The English Monster

The Poisoned Island

Savage Magic

The Detective and the Devil


My first printed thing (outside student journalism) was a book review in the Guardian in 1989. As a journalist, I worked for Financial Times Newsletters and for Baskerville Communications (which was subsequently absorbed into Informa). I also did freelance stuff for the Independent, the Sunday Telegraph, the Evening Standard and the Guardian.

My most recent journalism and writing:

The Way Inn by Will Wiles – book review (Guardian)

A Lovely Way to Burn by Louise Welsh book review (Guardian)

The Disorient Expressin 2013 I went on a mad train journey around Europe, and wrote quite a few things on the way. They’re all here

The Tale of Raw Head and Bloody Bones by Jack Wolf  book review (Guardian)

Amazon v. Newspaper: Which is the more valuable review (Guardian)

My parley with book pirates (Guardian): When the author of The English Monster found a request to pirate his novel circulating on discussion board Mobilism, he decided to respond himself – and was surprised by the results

Top Ten Weird Histories?(Guardian): Lloyd Shepherd, author of The English Monster, chooses his favourite weird histories, from Never Let Me Go to The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen

The death of books has been greatly exaggerated (Guardian): Radical change is certainly producing some alarming symptoms – but much of the doomsayers’ evidence is anecdotal, and it’s possible to read a much happier story

A post from 2024A not-entirely-serious look at the future of search

Glastonbury en Vague

Tales from the City

Pop Festival

The aluminium curtain

Crimes even lower at sunny Glastonbury

You don’t have to live like a refugee

Various bits and pieces from the 2004 Glastonbury festival

Good things come😕Reading Carter Beats the Devil a year too late

The convenience con

Mistletoe and whine

What does your bank say about you?


The house price forecast: squally

Welcome to my nightmare

Talking rubbish 98% of the time

Let there be policy exclusions

Family ties

If only you could turn back time

Never had it so bad

A little knowledge is a profitless thing

No retreat, no surrender

Bringing the house down

Spend, spend…no, don’t spend

Saving for the children

You’re a bleedin’ liability, you are

Get a grip on yourself

Selling points

The generation blame

Think of the children

Starters’ orders

Scaring the life out of us

A series of columns badged as The Financial Hypochondriac

Staged frightA family trip to Thorpe Park

Van extraordinaireA trip around France in a campervan

King and IWhy I love Stephen King

Primary choice: A guide to choosing a primary school, for the paranoid middle classes

Pitch invasion: All about England World Cup songs

Tainted love: Celebrating Soft Cell

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