Author Simon Williams is sitting in the Salford Star office laughing his head off. In the fourth book of his Hidden Depths series the central character, a bloke called, er, Williams has become Mayor of Salford. And after about half a day in office has discovered massive corruption at the heart of Salford Council... `There was more fiddling going on than in the BBC Philharmonic' he gasps. So what could possibly be the writer's inspiration for all this?
"It doesn't resemble anything" the real Simon insists "It's purely fictional..."
And with each page-turning page of the very short story, the pure fiction, that doesn't resemble anything, just gets better and better – and funnier and funnier.
Williams is the `Langy Roader' who, saddened by £6million missing from the city's coffers while cuts were happening for services to the city's vulnerable, tries to sort it out in the only way he knows – by bringing in a few burly Salford lads to have a word with ex-Mayor Ian Bowart and his 13 `under mayors'.
Bowart hands over a cheque for £1.5million after the lads tie a rope around his legs and dangle him over the motorway bridge at the Heights. The rest of the under mayors quickly follow suit...`the bread was coming back home to where it belonged'.
Meanwhile, the loss making Salford Stadium is sold to the Class of '92 for Salford City FC, with Moor Lane sold as a housing site, and Salford Reds chairman, Micheal Toukan, is bought out by the Council with the club being handed over to the fans under new chair Louise Woodward Styles. A new stadium for the Reds and Swinton Lions is sited in Buile Hill Park which would only employ Salford labour... `gone were the days when work was going to other contractors from outside the city...it was easy being Mayor...'
Next up, Salford Lads Club is handed over to the homeless, the Salford MP, Tony Flynn, is found dead after a night with two hookers and his replacement candidate is none other than that `cage fighter in a dress', Noreen Bailey...
All the action is squashed into about three dozen bursting pages – it's like reading a top thriller on fast forward. And there's murder, romance, love, lust, violence, corruption and more corruption thrown into the mix, with the jilted ex who married a cop lurking somewhere in the background. This is proper Salford as sorted in the imagination of a proper Salford lad.
"I try to create an easy read for people who don't read because it gets them into reading" the real Simon Williams explains "You can read books and they can be boring and laborious. I say `Bollocks to all that! Just say it like it is'. And if you're getting chapters with three and four pages you get drawn in and go `I've got to see what happens next'– and there's always something happening. The story is on the flow.
"I get the biggest buzz when someone says `I don't usually read but I've read your book and it's hilarious'" he adds "Everyone can relate to some part of this book. I just look at things and put my own twist on it...
"...But it doesn't resemble anything, it's purely fictional" the real Simon continues to insist...
Salford Born and Bread takes less than an hour to read and it's an hour that will have you laughing your Council Tax tits off. If only it was this simple to sort Salford...
Hidden Depths: Salford Born and Bread
By Simon Williams
Available now on Kindle for £1.99 with all profits going to Coffee4Craig – click here
• Salford Born and Bread is the fourth book by Simon Williams in the Hidden Depths series – see previous Salford Star article for details of the previous books and the author click here.