Simon Mayo is the award-winning presenter of BBC Radio 2’s Drivetime show as well as the renowned Radio 2 Book Club. This is his debut adult novel.
Inspired by real events and real characters, Mad Blood Stirring tells the story of the American sailors held captive in Dartmoor Prison in the Second War of American Independence.
Film rights optioned to Tessa Ross (Slumdog Millionaire) and screenwriter confirmed as Jack Thorne (Harry Potter and the Cursed Child).
1815: The war is over but for the inmates at Dartmoor Prison, peace – like home – is still a long way away. On the eve of the year 1815, the American sailors of the Eagle finally arrive at Dartmoor prison; bedraggled, exhausted but burning with hope. They’ve only had one thing to sustain them – a snatched whisper overheard along the way.
The war is over.
Joe Hill thought he’d left the war outside these walls but it’s quickly clear that there’s a different type of fight to be had within. The seven prison blocks surrounding him have been segregated; six white and one black. As his voice rings out across the courtyard, announcing the peace, the redcoat guards bristle and the inmates stir. The powder keg was already fixed to blow and Joe has just lit the fuse.
Elizabeth Shortland, wife of the Governor looks down at the swirling crowd from the window of her own per- sonal prison. The peace means the end is near, that she needn’t be here for ever. But suddenly, she cannot bear the thought of leaving.
Simon Mayo is one of Britain’s best-loved and well-known radio presenters. He has worked on BBC radio since 1981 and is now the presenter of ‘Drivetime’ on BBC Radio 2, which features the regular ‘Book Club’ show. He is also the co-presenter of “Kermode and Mayo’s Film Review” on BBC Radio 5 live. In 2008, Mayo was recognized as the “radio broadcaster of the year” at the 34th annual Broadcasting Press Guild Awards and the “Speech Broadcaster of the Year” at the Sony Radio Academy Awards.