Crooked Usage is a historical novel, a mystery set in (and partly inspired by) a quiet North London Street in February/March 1947. Crooked Usage exists – it used to be part of Hendon Lane, but was separated, rather in the manner of an Oxbow Lake, in the 19th Century. I used to pass it on the bus from Tally Ho corner in Finchley to Brent Cross shopping centre.
March, 1947. The harshest winter in living memory has shut Britain down. In a North London café, two people await the explosion of a bomb in nearby Crooked Usage, a bomb nobody else is even aware of. While they discuss what the bomb will destroy, we meet those whose lives it will affect.
At Number 1 Crooked Usage, Johnny Wilmot and his family try to rebuild their lives and cope with the continuing rationing. Johnny is convinced he can hear ghosts creeping about the place at night, but nobody believes him.
Unknown to the Wilmots, their house hosts an ancient secret, about to be forced into the open by the freezing weather and the country’s shattered infrastructure.
A nearby Bomb Disposal is making some alarming discoveries and a Black Marketing king is slowly heading their way, having heard whispers of the house’s secret.