The Evil Ones

evil_ones_1982_hamish_hamilton - 103.3 KBH. Hamilton, 1982; Magna Large Print Books ,1985.

By James Mitchell.

According to a review published in Kirkus this follows sleekly successful London photographer Joe Burn and not-so-successful magazine-writer Martin Barras as their careers in tabloid journalism and family lives spiral out of control.

From the dust jacket

...even as I realised I was wrong the noise came. Not a woomph like a bomb makes, or the crash of detonating high-explosive: not like that at all. I've sailed to Vietnam, and what used to be the Belgian Congo, and I've heard such things. This was a crack, thin and sudden, yet loud enough to hurt the ear-drums, to make pain.

And the shock waves were already making pain. Suddenly men and women were slumped over tables, like window-dummies that were no longer useful and chucked aside. Some were stunned by the explosion's force, and some as I saw later were bleeding from missiles. The wine waiter, for instance, stood frozen, still holding his empty tray, and stared, bewildered, at his forearm. There was a fork stuck in it. But there were others with wounds made by weapons more terrible than forks. People. as I was to see, conscious or unconscious, with great raw wounds like uncooked steak. The ones who were unconscious were lucky And all the casualties were in the long stroke of the dining-room's L, the part reserved for those who had not arrived. We, fortune's darlings, the rich and famous, Except for had escaped, as they say, unscathed. Dibbsy and Mrs L.... Of them there was no sign... The pain in my ears was almost unbearable, and I could hear very little sound. It was the fact that people's mouths were open, the fixed rigidity of heads and torsos. That told me that they were screaming. I looked at Janet. and she was screaming too, and maybe so was I, I don't remember - All I remember is that suddenly the pain in my ears intensified, and then I lay back in my chair and yelled so hard that my ears popped, and I began to hear the screams of others. And all that had taken perhaps five seconds after the bomb exploded... And at last I could hear what Janet was screaming.