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White Riot

On sale

19th January 2023

Price: £18.99

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Selected: Hardcover / ISBN-13: 9781529423372

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‘A timely, powerful and gorgeously readable novel that represents everything that is good and important about the crime fiction genre’ Irish Times

1978: The National Front is gaining ground in Hackney. To counter their influence, anti-fascist groups launch the Carnival Against Racism in Victoria Park. Observing the event is Detective Constable Patrick Noble, charged with investigating racist attacks in the area and running Spycops in both far-right and left wing groups. As Noble’s superiors are drawn further into political meddling, he’s inveigled into a plot against the embattled Labour government as the Winter of Discontent begins to bite.

1983: Under a disciplinary cloud after a Spycops op ended in tragedy, Noble is offered a reprieve by an old mentor. He is dispatched in the early hours to Stoke Newington police station, where a young black man has died in suspicious circumstances. This is Thatcher’s Britain now, a new world that Noble unwittingly helped to usher in, where racial tensions are weaponised by those in power. His investigation will expose the dark heart of a nation at war with itself.

‘Gripping’ The Times
‘Enthralling’ Sunday Times
‘A propulsive crime novel’ Guardian
‘One of our very best contemporary crime writers’ David Peace


Lucy Caldwell
Stylish and pacy, White Riot throbs with a restless, punky energy, bringing Hackney of the late 70s and early 80s compellingly and disturbingly to life. A full-throated, swaggering roar of a book
Mark Sanderson, The Times
Gripping . . . Deeply moving . . . A love letter to London, seething with outrage, that leads you keen to read its planned sequels
Declan Burke, Irish Times
A timely, powerful and gorgeously readable novel that represents everything that is good and important about the crime fiction genre
John Dugdale, Sunday Times
Maxim Jakubowski, Crime Time
With real life and fictional characters rubbing shoulders in a turbo-charged and multi-layered narrative, this is truly a State of Britain thriller . . . A genuine, undiluted 'punk' epic, with a ready-made soundtrack and I can't wait for the next instalment
Jake Arnott
Police and thieves, punks and spycops. White Riot captures the raw energy of the times in spectacular fashion, evoking a visceral narrative of power and corruption
Cathi Unsworth
Joe Thomas takes on the inflammable end of the Seventies, when Rock Against Racism took the National Front head on and Margaret Thatcher turned the Winter of Discontent into her own Springtime . . . Like Daniel Rachel's Walls Come Tumbling Down meets David Peace's GB84 in a dark labyrinth of bent coppers, sleeping policemen, political polarity and the greatest sounds of the dirtiest decade
Laura Barton
White Riot is an electrifying novel of politics, the counterculture, and music as a powerful force. In Suzi Scialfa, Thomas has given us a pioneering character - a female journalist, forging her way in a man's world; you believe in her, root for her, want to hear more. I loved this book
Ashley Hickson-Lovence
This book does not mess about. Punchy pithy prose page to page. Thrilling, entertaining, expertly crafted - a winner in every way. Loved it
Martin Chilton, Independent
Captures the searing energy and polarised nature of the capital in the late 1970s and early 1980s . . . Thomas creates a potent drama from the counterculture of a period when Rock Against Racism and the Anti-Nazi League were battling prejudice. White Riot adroitly blends fact and fiction.
A propulsive crime novel. Thomas ably captures local community anger, interracial tensions and especially the foreboding atmosphere . . . This ambitious work on a big canvas is an admirable attempt at portraying a fraught and fracturing nation

United Kingdom Trilogy