Peter May lunch at the Balcon

People - Books Thursday, 10 January 2019

Bestselling novelist's new publication is a reissue of a prescient thriller from 1981


A Peter May novel, and the Peter May lunch, are traditional features of early January. But this year there is a slight difference: The Man with No Face (riverrun) is a reissue of a thriller from 1981, lightly edited to remove what publisher Jon Riley described, to May's amusement, as "some of the more neanderthal aspects" of the author's portrayal of journalistic culture. Other aspects of The Man with No Face, in particular concerning the operations of what was then the EEC, are as timely as ever.

The 1981 publisher of The Man with No Face, then known as Hidden Faces, was Piatkus. Judy Piatkus, then running a recently established independent, must have had hopes for the novel, because she stretched the budget to entertain May to tea at Brown's Hotel. ("There wasn't much of an advance, though," he recalls.) Piatkus is now a sister imprint of riverrun's at Hachette.

May is about to go on tour, with interviews on Radio 2, Sky Sunrise TV, seven regional radio stations, and with the Sunday Express. He will appear at events in Glasgow, Perth, Inverness and Edinburgh.

Photo: lunch at the Balcon on Pall Mall with (clockwise from left) Ali Karim (Shots), Karen Robinson (Sunday Times), Peter May, broadcaster Joe Haddow, Sophie Ransom (Midas PR), Jon Coates (Sunday Express), Mike Stotter (Shots), Barry Forshaw (Guardian, FT), Hannah Robinson (riverrun/Quercus), novelist and reviewer Natasha Cooper, and Jon Riley (riverrun)

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