As many of you know, I draw on my past work and life experiences when writing my fiction books. I have started Lifer: A Novel a work in progress. I recently posted about my transition from non-fiction to fiction.
My Steve Regan Undercover Cop series is crime fiction. It’s not hard to detect the inspiration for it. My undercover cop memoir is still selling well especially in the UK where it has been topping the bestselling list recently in Law Enforcement Biographies.
Lifer: A Novel also draws on my own experiences. This time when I was a practising barrister in the UK. I defended a young man in a murder trial. He was convicted along with others and was sentenced to life imprisonment – a “lifer.”
I often wondered whether he “did it.” That is the basis for my new novel. Of course, all characters in the book are entirely fictional.
I veer away from my usual point of view in this novel. I write in the first person and all is seen though one man’s eyes. Those of the man convicted of murder – the “lifer.”
This is the opening. I hope you like it. Any and all feedback is welcome.
Lifer: A Novel by Stephen Bentley
I’m thirty-four now. I was twenty when found guilty of murder. A murder I didn’t commit. Yeah, I know, you’ve heard that before. My real name is Roman, Roman Aaron Roberts. My Mum loved that director bloke, Roman Polanski. You know, the nonce. He was once married to Sharon Tate, wasn’t he? Fuck! Charles Manson! Now there was a bad fucked-up guy. I read about him in here.
Most people know me as Romeo. Partly because my girlfriend and mother of my baby back then was called Juliet. I called her Julie. Some called me ‘Ferry.” Nothing to do with Bryan Ferry. I look nothing like him. No. It was ferry as in ro-ro ferry. It started of as “Hey Ro.” Then someone would call after me, “Ro, Ro!” That was it. Some cunt thought of ferry and it stuck. I look more like Sean Bean, if you’re interested. He’s from Yorkshire too, you know.
The judge gave me life with a recommendation of serving a minimum of fifteen years. Do you know what that really means? It means I can’t be considered for parole until fifteen years have passed. I’ve no chance. Do you want to know why, or don’t you give a toss? Well, I’m gonna tell you anyway.
The Parole Board will need to see evidence of remorse. Remorse includes admitting I did the crime. But I didn’t do it or have you forgot already? So, as my brief said to me, “it’s admit it and stand a chance of parole or carry on denying it and spend fuck knows how many more years in this shithole.” It was something like that. Perhaps he didn’t say ‘fuck’ or ‘shithole.’
Catch 22, right? Yeah, I’ve read it. Nothing else to do in here except read, watch TV, gym, wank and talk bullshit with some of the no-hopers in here. Some shouldn’t be here – they are friggin’ crazy. Not as bad as Manson, like, but crazy all the same. The drugs make them crazier. Talk about crazy – it’s prison and it’s easier to get drugs in here than it was to score outside. And you can bet there’s no undercover cops in here.
The guilty verdict? It’s a big decision. Admit to something I didn’t do and get parole or play the martyr and stick two fingers up and… stay here in the poky. What would you do? Ahh fuck… what’s the point? You know jackshit about me or what happened. Okay, okay, I’ll tell you the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth. So help me, God. Get comfortable, it’s a long story.
©2018 Stephen Bentley All Rights Reserved
Please send me your feedback and/or thoughts, good, bad and indifferent in the comment box below.
This makes it three WIP’s at the moment. Fans of Steve Regan don’t fret. Book 3 is on the way and will probably be followed by a standalone full-length novel. That will probably be the last Steve Regan book but who knows? The other WIP is a continuum of my autobiography, this time dealing mainly with my days of practice as a barrister at London’s Criminal Bar.
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