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The Yao Ming writing collective are currently working on a novel of Black Country noir. It’s the book which will introduce the world to Iain Batham, a hard boiled, chronically unemployed P.I. from Gornal, near Dudley.

Iain takes on a case to track down the origins of a gris(t)ly pork scratching and in the process gets some glimpses into the seamy underworld of big money and local business in the Greater Birmingham area. There will be fast-talking women, fights on defunct mono-rails, darts hustling and plenty of pints of mixed.

Expect to see results in soon.

Iain reached into his pocket, pulled out a small grip-seal plastic bag and placed it on the desk. Polly cautiously picked it up, closely examining the scratching from every angle without wanting to remove it from the bag.
‘It… it looks like a human tattoo,’ she stammered, whilst considering the implications of that particular deduction.
‘That’s what I thought,’ Iain replied. ‘Now you can see why I’m so keen to speak with Mr Stanton.’
Polly opened up a desk drawer and pulled out a small notebook. She quickly leafed through the pages and copied some text onto a spare page. ‘I don’t know how much use this will be. He’s never answered his door or his phone to me. I do know that he sometimes drinks in a pub called The Fountain. Maybe you could find him in there. It’s in Gornal, near the top of…’
‘Yes I know it,’ Iain interrupted. He knew all of Gornal’s pubs only too well.


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