by John B Spencer

griefbigLarge format paperback £7.99 (ISBN 1-904316-17-4)
Casebound £15 (ISBN 1-904316-17-4)

This final novel, completed just weeks before John B Spencer’s tragic death in March 2002, is his best. Again, set in the West London he’d lived in all his life, ‘Grief’ is a potent mix of drama, humour and tragedy that will stay with you long after the final page is turned.


“GRIEF is a speed-freak’s cocktail, one part Leonard and one part Ellroy, that goes right to the head.” – George P Pelecanos

“Spencer writes the tightest dialogue this side of Elmore Leonard, so bring on the blood, sweat and beers!” Ian Rankin

“John B Spencer is not so much a Renaissance man as an Armageddon artist, his berserk energy and the unflagging venom he shows towards the mainstream culture makes him a great novelist.” – Stewart Home novelist, critic

“John B Spencer’s characters live in utter isolation and utterly without history, unable to connect, skittering out of control across the surface of their lives. Yet such is Spencer’s skill that we grieve for them, see ourselves in them, recognize – as they never will – our common humanity. I absolutely love GRIEF.” – James Sallis novelist, biographer

“John B Spencer’s walk on the wild side of west London is tough, taut and destined to be a modern pulp classic with its giddy mix of hot sex and chilling violence” – Peter Guttridge, The Observer

“A fantastic novel. It’s laugh-out-loud stuff, this. Spencer’s interleaved tales of double dealing contain enough black humour to keep a convention of funeral directors going for a fortnight.” Time Out

“Good grief? Brilliant grief more like. Grief has bullet-speed dialogue so pared to perfection it’ll be a tragedy if this caustic tale fails to reach the big screen. Grief has the tightest of plots, the most thrilling of action and the funniest of moments.” The Voice
“John B Spencer’s patch of West London is the furthest removed from Notting Hill and the closest to the actual truth. His families of smalltown hoods and chancers go back generations, now they have to share their space with the upwardly mobile residents of Chiswick, Acton and Hammersmith. And this is where all the grief starts. Trouble, as Spencer surely knows, can come knocking in the most familiar forms, whichever side of the tracks you’re from. Using the poetic vernacular of the smalltime villain to rub caustically against the continually worried tones of the designer coffee-drinking classes, Spencer has created a calamitous convergence.

“Like no one else, Spencer gets inside the heads of his characters, sensing their every motive, doubt and weakness, understands the way the mundane everyday can slowly slide into a living nightmare with no escape. This is the real West-side story.” – Cathi Unsworth

Read an extract from Grief

About John B Spencer

Also by John B Spencer (published by The Do-Not Press)

Quake City
Perhaps She’ll Die
Tooth & Nail