Publication Date
Publication Status
Salt Modern Fiction
Modern & contemporary fiction (post c 1945)
Trim Size
198 x 129mm

Dry Cleaning


‘A hot summer. The countryside around Manchester is ablaze. Ethan Mallam is fresh out of prison and finds his old gang locked in a brutal civil war. Against his wishes, he is quickly drawn into a hellish world of fire, blood, greed, and Billy Bear Ham. Trevor Mark Thomas's follow up to the sensational, and sensationally gripping, The Bothy.’

Praise for Previous Work

‘4/4 The Bothy is a confident debut novel, exciting and fast paced, an exhilarating read. It is also a very subtle exploration of grief, betrayal, love and loyalty, a thriller with real depth … Shovels, frost bite, guns, gangs, and cracked pipes all feature in this clever ensemble piece. The moorland pub at the dead of winter, hinting at horror, is a cracking setting. Tom begins to realise that it’s out of the frying pan into the fire! He will need all the guile and strength he can muster, and one or two friends, if he is to survive The Bothy.’ —Paul Burke, NB Magazine

The Bothy is horribly engrossing: a blackly comic gangster horror that reads like a northern cousin of Ben Wheatley’s Down Terrace. Its cast of strangely ambivalent villains will linger in your mind. And if you've never tasted pickled egg before, you certainly won't want to after reading this.’ —Gregory Norminton

‘After his girlfriend dies, and her family of gangsters blame him for the death, Tom goes into hiding in the Bothy, a remote pub on the Yorkshire moors. In the Bothy he finds another group of gangsters, led by Frank, and as the pub is cut off by snow (and food supplies dwindle to crisps past their sell-by date) the bodies begin to pile up. It is a classic set-up and The Bothy is a gripping read, Trevor Mark Thomas embraces the crime novel’s ability to create atmosphere from description: “After a while, Tom put the book down and watched the snow. It fell like ash.”’ —Bookmunch

‘In Mark Thomas's intensely gritty debut, Tom hides out in an isolated Yorkshire moors pub to escape his dead girlfriend’s criminal family, but sanctuary eludes him — what can he do to survive? Grim northern realism painted with heart and humour.’ —Karen Robinson, The Times

‘★★★★ A compelling nervy tension runs through the back heart of the grity debut novel. Its bleak descriptions are cinematic, from Tom’s “haven” with its picked eggs and sticky carpets, to the moment our lead character crashes in the snow and has to pick freedom or protection… The tension builds to the final pages, so much so the shocking climax is almost a relief.’ —Alex Lloyd, Daily Express

‘★★★★★ An original spin on the gangster crime novel and helps makes this book an original and compelling tale. While on some levels The Bothy is a story about gangsters, it’s not a gangster novel in the traditional sense. This is a much slower burn novel than many that feature gangsters, much more about the tension between the people living and working in The Bothy, their almost hand-to-mouth existence, the mounting suspicion and paranoia as things start to go wrong and both Frank’s enemies, and The Conways who have put a bounty on Tom’s head, start to encroach. I thoroughly enjoyed The Bothy and would recommend it highly.’ —James Pierson, Adventures in Crime Fiction Land