The Man in the Street is about betrayal and the failings of the British political class. In this story nobody escapes their families, background and the state of the age in which they live. The novel is set in Britain in two distinct eras: the nineteen thirties, a time of economic depression, Fascist Blackshirts, mass rallies, charismatic leadership, oratory and public violence; and the contemporary world of economic insecurity, grey leadership, soundbites, personal contracts, and private violence. The times appear different, but their consequences for the generations that live through them are equally damning and frighteningly similar.

The Man in the Street follows the lives of two men Tony Cox and his grandson David Coxon-Dyet.

Tony Cox becomes a fascist in the 1930s, swept up from unemployment in a working class northern town to rise through the ranks of the British Union of Fascists, before being interned in the Second World War. After his release he re-invents himself and buries his past from everyone, including the one person who truly loves him, his grandson. He believes he is succeeding, only to be exposed by a violent secret from his past, that even he didn’t know he had.

David Coxon-Dyet is a family man, married with two children. He is a moderately successful middle manager, facing redundancy, as his insurance company “re-engineers” itself under a dynamic new Chief Executive. David thought the world of his grandfather, who had provided a refuge from his overbearing family. He knew nothing about his past, but as his own personal life collapses around him the awful truth about his grandfather is revealed. David is overwhelmed by a profound sense of betrayal.

In the end secrets from the past betray both men and each finds catharsis through violence.

“The Man in the Street is an excellent novel with strong themes, convincing characterisation and a pleasantly clear prose.”
- Michael Thomas

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£9.99 • ISBN: 9781789018165

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Reviews (6):

A timely account of ordinary men and women drawn to activism by Mosley’s black shirts in the 1930’s. Against the backdrop of polarisation in our politics, this novel, based on a true story, sets out how ordinary people can be swept into right wing politics. Tense and gripping, it is an essential read for anyone concerned about the rise of populism around the world. Deborah Mattinson

Exciting, interesting and thought-provoking. A really gripping story with great character development and a great concluding end. I really enjoyed reading this book. DH

The story of how a few questionable decisions can lead to some far-reaching consequences. I thoroughly enjoyed how the storylines twisted and turned throughout, reaching to a nail-biting conclusion. The author encapsulates the reader through great vivid imagery, that portray everything the characters are thinking and experiencing. I'd recommend the book to anyone interested in the political landscape of the 1930's. Jack R

A page turner. The 80th anniversary of the start of WW2 this month was an appropriate point to read this mystery, spanning the period from 1930s to the turn of this century, and dealing with the rise of British Fascist Party under Mosley. The menace and violence of this movement is well described and a constant thread. Characters are brought to life empathetically. The plot flip flops from pre/ war period to the late 1990s giving an intriguing interplay between protagonists and revealing the detail of the little publicised history of internment of Nazi sympathisers and BFP members. It seems fearfully prescient given the political and socio economic climate in the U.K. today. The tension continues to an unusual end. I thoroughly enjoyed what I would, unhesitatingly, call a page turner which I read over 2 evenings. S & P

It’s excellent. Another page turner from Martin Howe. Well worth the read. Sara Eppel.
A must read! This is a really enjoyable and gripping novel. The two intertwined stories of the 1930s and 1990s come together brilliantly at the end. It’s wonderfully written, with humour and drama. But what struck me most, apart from the spot on characterisation and clever plot line, was how shockingly familiar it sounded to current right-wing populism. Becky S.

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