Dianne Doyle is the antagonist of my novella A Smaller Hell: based on a department store manager I worked with. She used to get kicks out of reprimanding staff and subverting our relationships. A maestro of negativity, she’d often lure us into making mistakes, just so that she could degrade us.
The longer I worked there, the more intriguing she became. She used the workplace hierarchy for her own ends, few of which were concerned with profit margins.
This, and certain other experiences led me to study psychology in a bid to demystify cruelty. When writing A Smaller Hell, I took an example of a philanthropist in Joseph Williamson and summoned him in the founder of the department store: Commander Clarence Tanner. The idea was to have Dianne Doyle be a personification of corporate psychopathy in contrast to Tanner’s long-standing philanthropist.
I find it creepy when people say something morally dubious is “good for the economy”, as if it were an idol we should worship. Tanner was the antithesis of that and the waning of his philosophy in the world scares me.
Dianne Doyle is the face that I’ve given to those fears: a mischievous authoritarian, whose greatest act of deception unfolds to reveal that:
“The Devil can sometimes do a very gentlemanly thing.” – Robert Louis Stevenson
“AJ Reid’s ‘A Smaller Hell’ is a fable of our time.” – ***** KT Acolyte”An electrifying piece of literature.” – ***** Whim”The author takes you on a trip through the underworld and keeps the reader captivated throughout the book and wanting to learn more about the sordid secrets of Ms Doyle.” – ***** Iain Bennett”A highly enjoyable tale with a bit of everything; love, crime, black humour and magic.” – ***** -“A tale of love, hate, fear and deceit that truly captivates your imagination and drags you head first into a world where things are not always as they seem, a plot which has your heart racing as you eagerly turn page after page, unable to put the book down!” – ***** Richard MortimoreDianne Doyle is a forty-something widow who likes to play games. Her fellow pillars of the community would say that she’s just a businesswoman trying to make the best of her inheritance, but those who know her best know that her interest in profit margins ran out a long time ago. Her pampered, flawless appearance belies a dark history of perversion and violence … and the worst is yet to come for Tony Black: Tanner’s Department Store’s newest employee, and Dianne Doyle’s chosen playmate for her most enigmatic and dangerous game yet in this grim, northern dystopia.A Smaller Hell is a darkly-comic tale of collisions between the normal and the perverted; the workaday and the surreal; the logical and the absurd; and of course, good and evil. This neo-noir thriller will keep you guessing as Black negotiates his way through the darkest alleys of this once-splendid shipbuilding town, right up until the shocking climax at the Christmas party.This adventure was inspired by Franz Kafka, three stripes, J.G. Ballard, cheap cider, Dennis Lehane, sovereign rings, Rockports, greasy spoon cafes, street violence, spit and sawdust boxing clubs, working in a fancy department store at Christmas, psychopathy, Irvine Welsh, Iain Banks, true love, nymphomaniacs, consumerism, Martin Amis, Aldous Huxley, corporatocracy, hierarchy, cruelty and the stickiest, smokiest, most dangerous pubs known to mankind.
A Smaller Hell is available FREE from August 13th – August 17th 2015 on Amazon.
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UK Readers: click here