The Work of Rod Madocks   Novelist and short story writer


Read More: No Way to Say Goodbye
Read More: Ship of Fools


Remembering Sidney Keyes 

By Rod Madocks 

Sidney Keyes was a young poet of infinite promise who was killed at the age of twenty on the Tunisian front in World War Two. He left over a hundred poems and was awarded the 1943 Hawthornden Prize for his two poetry collections, The Iron Laurel and The Cruel Solstice. There is little surviving material about his short, vivid life. However the novelist Rod Madocks has drawn on the account of his own father who served with Keyes to create a new memoir and tribute to the poet. This work provides a selection of Keyes' poetry and includes previously unknown facts about his military career, including his bullying by a famous film actor of the time. The book, accompanied by newly-sourced photographs, offers a fresh analysis of the unusual circumstances of Keyes' mysterious death behind enemy lines. 

"Sidney Keyes ... potentially, the finest English poet of the Second World War." Robert Nye. 

Shoestring Press Publication Date 7th May 2015

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Who was 'Babbacombe Lee', and what is his final secret?

In a backyard junk sale, a young American poet finds some vintage recordings of an Englishman called John Henry Lee telling his story. Lee was a convicted killer known as 'The Man They Could Not Hang'. They had tried to execute him at Exeter Prison in 1885. Three times he was taken to the drop and three times it failed. Lee claimed he was saved from death because he was innocent of the bloody crime. The poet must escape his own ghosts as he goes questing for the truth about Lee, and before the past can yield up all of its secrets, he must first go back to the original scene of the crime - that mysterious Devonshire beach the locals called Babbicam

A novel about guilt, the search for meaning and the ghosts all around us.

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No Way To Say Goodbye

A 2009 novel, short listed by the Crime Writers Association John Creasey Dagger Award and featuring on ITV3 Crime Thriller Awards.

"We are all waiting for someone to come back from the past bringing a lost happiness." It is about the search for a vanished lover within the secret world of the maximum security institution. If you go looking for the truth you'd better be ready to live with it afterwards. A haunting and sinister first novel.

"Chilling and authentic..." Crime Writers Association.

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Dyadic Death.

A non -fiction piece by Rod Madocks on the "love killers" , the true signature killers of our times. In Crime ed. Ross Bradshaw Five Leaves Press , September 2013 .

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Ship of Fools.

February 2013 . "They had drawn low cards in the lottery of life to get mental illness in the first place and then they had us to deal with on top of that." Here are twenty stories told by an ex-professional that really lift the lid on psychiatry. Intense, exhilarating, these short tales reach down to the marrow. Mining a dark vein, the writing is wryly comic and clear-eyed.

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Author's reading: No Way To Say Goodbye

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Ship of Fools book cover

No way to say goodbye book cover