I’m shocked by the rich-poor divide in Britain. The way we’ve gone from hiding our poorest communities on urban back streets to hiding them in ‘self-contained’ estates. I’m shocked that psychologists have recently proved that we see poorer people, especially the homeless, as fundamentally different and less important than other human beings. I’m also angry by the rich-list’s blatant disregard for those of ‘lower’ class, the way they flout their wealth so openly with polluting cars and parties and regard tax avoidance as a right of passage.
People with a lot of money want us to believe they earned it, but the truth is many of them come from wealthy families to begin with and didn’t make every penny they spend. Only a small proportion of rich people are genuine entrepreneurs who came from nowhere to make it big – and they should be respected, so long as they pay their taxes and give a bit back. From my upbringing in a relatively poor, semi-rural community to my time meeting wealthy friends with ‘everything’ at private school, I’ve seen the full spectrum of the class and financial systems and the benefits and perils of both extremes. Growing up on the outskirts of a Northern town, then moving temporarily to central London where the rich-poor divide is packed into an even narrower space, my eyes were opened at a young age to the differences between people’s buying power, their status in society and the subsequent power they had as people – but something else kept catching my attention.
Everywhere I go, I notice this: there are decent, principled people in every income group, every class and every location. On the flip side, there are some distinctly indecent people in every strata of society, too. No amount of money or power can give a man principles. But the time when you see a person’s true colours tends to be when their circumstances alter in a sudden or unexpected way and those alterations in wealth or status – either shifting up or down the social ladder – can lead to some very interesting outcomes.
Based on real life experience, Never More Than 24 Hours is an urban thriller with a difference. Three men – a destitute drug addict, a courageous career criminal and a strung-out social worker – battle it out for position in a culture of violence and financial extremes where few follow the rules and no one is quite what they seem. Enjoy a free excerpt or purchase a copy here at: Amazon UK, Amazon US, Goodreads or Kobo.