If you search for Hells Angels fiction on Amazon’s Kindle, once you discard the ones about angels and demons you’ll get page after page of romance titles featuring a hairy biker and his massive chopper next to some skinny bird who’s probably never had a hot throbbing motorcycle between her legs in her entire life. Presumably there’s a market for such books, but they don’t really appeal to me.
But tucked away on page three of the list you’ll find one called Rockerhead with a cover reminiscent of the old NEL books of the 1970s by Peter Cave and the like. The description mentions those books too, as does the writer’s introduction (which you will need to page-back to see, since it opens by default at chapter one).
The writer uses the name Peter Marshall, and goes to great lengths to point out it’s not his real name. Maybe he’s ashamed of the book, or doesn’t want to tarnish his current or future reputation by taking ownership of it, but he shouldn’t be. In a lot of ways it’s better than the original 1970s Hells Angels books he says he wrote it as a homage to. Most of those were pretty far-fetched, and barely more than a series of Asian or skinhead bashing set-pieces with minimal plot to tie them all together.
This one’s more of a revenge thriller with outlaw bikers in it. It has all the trappings you’d want from a Hells Angels book – bike chases, fisticuffs in the pub, petty crime, evading capture by the fuzz, even a bit of racist banter (though obviously toned down for today’s more sensitive readers).
Rockerhead is the nickname of the lead character, but everyone seems to call him Andy instead. He’s the leader of the pack, riding a BSA Thunderbolt with his Shangri Las style old lady Chrissy on the bitch-pad. Along with the rest of their gang they get up to assorted mischief during their annual run to seaside town Sidmouth, and soon get on the wrong side of Eastenders style cockney villain Jimmy Fitch.
The writer seems to know his stuff. There’s no motorcycle tyres screeching round bends, and no long, drawn out conversations between bike rider and passenger during a high speed chase like you find in a lot of books. So he’s either a biker himself or he’s at least done his homework. My only real quibble is with the naming of two of the supporting characters, Tosher and Tonner. The names are too similar, and you end up getting them mixed up with each other.
I’d recommend it if you grew up reading the old NEL books, like I did. And if you liked any of my books you should like this one too. It says it’s part of a series of “Retro Fiction” but it seems to be the only one available so far. Hopefully there will be others to come, but I’d guess that will depend on how well this one sells. It’s ebook only at the moment, and currently exclusive to the Amazon Kindle (though you could convert it to epub easily enough with Calibre if you needed to read it on something else).
It’d probably do better as a paperback, so if “Peter Marshall” reads this, get yourself over to Createspace and make one.