By Eamonn Griffin
Things haven't gone well for Dan Matlock in the month since he got out. But it can always get worse.
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Lincolnshire, the mid-80s. A few weeks have passed since the events of East of England. Dan Matlock has a labouring job outside the market town Loweth, yardworking at a potato wholesalers. He’s trying to keep his head down, get some straight money earned, and get himself back into shape after two years inside.
Matlock’s doing a little debt collecting on the side, and he’s doing what he can to help reunite his neighbour Frank with the daughter he’s not seen for a generation, but the trail’s long gone cold.
The Thursday before the Easter bank holiday weekend. Matlock’s not expecting much to happen between now and Tuesday except a dull four days off. He’d rather be working. Then in the afternoon his new boss - Lol - disappears. He gets a phone call, then runs. Sneaks out the back of the potato warehouse. Doesn’t take his van. Gone on foot.
So Matlock waits. Checks about. And then he locks up. He’s owed a day’s wages, though. The job was cash in hand. A four day trial with the promise of something more permanent come Tuesday.
The boss can come and go as he likes. In theory. But you don’t leave your business in the hands of a stranger, do you?
Matlock can’t help himself. He has to investigate. And besides, what with four long days off in front of him, what else is there to do except find out what’s what and to get his day’s money?
It’s not long before Matlock finds out the reason for Lol’s disappearing act. And about the men who provoked it, and the lengths they’ll go to in order to protect what’s theirs.
As with its predecessor East of England, Canine Jubilee has an interest in the long slow decay of the industrialised farming flatlands of the East Coast, of the collision of tourism and tradition, and of the ways of men for whom the law is an abstract, and for whom justice and what’s right are contextual.
Eamonn Griffin was born and raised in Lincolnshire, though these days he lives in north-east Wales.
He's worked as a stonemason, a strawberry picker, in plastics factories (everything from packing those little bags for loose change you get from banks to production planning via transport manager via fork-lift driving), in agricultural and industrial laboratories, in a computer games shop, and latterly in further and higher education.
He doesn’t do any of that anymore. Instead, he writes fulltime. He really likes biltong, and has returned to learning the piano, something he abandoned when he was about seven and has regretted since.
There was a knack to it, like there is to most things. Dan Matlock had picked it up in an hour or so. On the first day, the owner had let him struggle. See if he could work things out for himself; if he was savvy enough to ask for help if needed.
He pointed Matlock to a loaded pallet and asked him to handball half of them onto another.
Sacks of potatoes.
By the time the job was done, Matlock had the hang of it.
Dan Matlock had been out of jail a month. He was trying for a quiet life, not least since he had been involved - if not exactly responsible - for the death of two men in the week of his release. Since those two had been involved themselves in the murder of Matlock’s father Joe, though, he wasn’t getting any ulcers over worry about their souls. They’d been local gangsters. There might have been repercussions, but any threat of that seemed to have passed. Secondhand word had got back to Matlock that fair was fair, and no-one had got what they didn't deserve.
- 17th July 2019 Canine Jubilee update July 2019
I've not been massively pushing the crowdfunding for Canine Jubilee, in part because I'm interested to see what (if anything) it does by itself, and because also I did a lot of drum-banging for East of England last year and I don't want to wear other folk or myself out.
So here's where we're at. The sidequel Piece of Work (a short novel - 50,000 words-ish) is currently being drafted.…29th May 2019 What time do I call this?
Here's where we are with Canine Jubilee (and with East of England, come to think of it).
Stats-wise, we're at 14% funded with 56 fine folk onboard as backers. That means that, by my calculations and with a couple of the higher-level pledges having been gratefully snapped up, there's between 400 and 500 pledgers needed to fully fund the book. This, folks, presents a problem for the project…11th April 2019 50 subscribers and counting!
We're 50 subscribers and counting, which is all good! The crowdfunding target is a bit daunting for Canine Jubilee, so am working out how to inject some more pledge levels into the process. I'm open to suggestions, so shout if you've got a good idea.
Big thanks for your patience in the meantime!
Eamonn15th March 2019 Canine Jubilee - here we go again!
The crowdfunding for the second Dan Matlock novel Canine Jubilee has been up and running for a couple of weeks. We're at 11% funded, which is pretty good going, though naturally the sooner that I get get the project monies raised, then the sooner folk can get the book. It is as simple as that.
I'm not doing this again: this is the second and last time I'm going to use crowdfunding as…
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