Jon Bennet is the perfect employee: efficient, completely loyal, conscientious to the last. But his job is murder – pure, cold and calculated. It is only when he meets an old friend that the life he has forged for himself amid the nameless, the faceless and the heartless is challenged and he is forced for the first time to face the consequences of his actions.
Cruel, powerful and decidedly unnerving, Mr In-Between is an uncomfortable portrait of a man who has so successfully erased his past that the stirring of love and friendship becomes an agony that is too much to endure.
‘Mr In-Between takes on extremes – extremes of violence, drug-taking, super-strength lager drinking and love’
Independent on Sunday
‘Neil Cross applies a sharp satirical gaze to inarticulate male working-class culture . . . Cross’s portrayal of male friendship, the rituals of working-class life and the shock of bereavement is superbly done’
Excerpt from Mr In-Between
When the man was dead, Jon was compelled to tidy up the mess he’d made in the process of killing him. Because the man had put up something of a struggle there was a fait amount of furniture to be straightened, photographs uprighted and pillows to be fluffed, which he went about with efficient detachment born of a sense of contractual and personal obligation. He knew that little touches, insignificant in themselves, could be surprisingly effective in context of the whole. It was a question of presentation.
The only ambition I ever had was to be a writer; I never considered anything else — not for more than five minutes, anyway. I started when I was eight or nine years old, drawing comic books.
For most of my early adult life, it was considered a joke: I was headed to one place, and it wasn’t the Times Literary Supplement. My childhood had been unsettled; the adolescence that followed was choppy and disordered. I was in trouble with the police; in trouble with everyone. At 15, I was expelled from school, thrown out of the house by my stepfather. I spent seven years in the lurid squats and dingy bedsits of Bristol, then the peeling Georgian terraces of Brighton, claiming benefit.
Finally, when the Major government made deliberate joblessness too wearisome a task, I took some A-levels at night school then applied to study at Leeds University. I still wasn’t ready for a proper job, and what better way to avoid work than being a student?
But all this time, I was writing. Read more
UK Publication Details
1st Edition Published: Feburuary 1998