Writing Magazine

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WRITING A RIOT

Little Boy Lost is the third in the DCI Anna Tate series,’ writes subscriber James Raven.

‘The story revolves around the mysterious death of a ten-year-old boy whose body is found in a derelict building in South London. It’s set against a backdrop of violent rioting across the capital that’s triggered after a woman is shot dead by police.

‘Eight years ago, in August 2011, thousands of people took to the streets in what became known as the London Riots. They flared up in Tottenham after police shot and killed a young black man named Mark Duggan. There was widespread looting and dozens of buildings were burned down. The mayhem lasted for five days and spread to other cities. Five people died and damage to property topped £200m.

‘On 8 August that year I was in a restaurant in Peckham High Street when hundreds of people, mostly young men, gathered outside.

‘The front windows of a store only yards from where I was standing were shattered suddenly and youths wearing masks rushed inside to loot it. Minutes later a nearby building went up in flames and riot police appeared. The area quickly became a warzone as they chased the youths. Missiles were lobbed at the officers and vehicles were attacked in a frenzy of violence.

‘Since that evening in 2011 I’ve often considered writing a book set in London during those riots. Instead, I decided to imagine that it’s happening all over again. I drew on my own experience and spent hours reading

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