The Guardian: Smart goons and a character called _____: the subversive hardboiled crime of Alan Trotter

Alan Trotter has a charmingly evasive attitude to biography: “Was born, grew taller and is yet to die,” he once wrote of himselfHis website simply reads: “Hello. My name is Alan. I write fiction.” In conversation, everything leads back to writing. Wanting to be a writer, he says, predates his memory of anything else. When reading The BFG as a young child, he realised someone must have written it. And that was it.

Trotter has worked in publishing, as a copywriter and completed a PhD. But he sums all this up as having “done everything else” but write a book. An early draft of his debut novel, Muscle, was even part of his doctoral dissertation. He’s been working on Muscle for more than 10 years. It won the the Sceptre prize for a novel-in-progress. And this week it is published at last.

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