Book Review

The Black Ditch – Simon J Lancaster

As my bumper month of blog tours heats up, today I join the tour for The Black Ditch, a dystopian thriller from Simon J Lancaster. Many thanks to Simon, and to Rachel Gilbey at Rachel’s Random Resources, for inviting me to take part in the tour, and for providing me with a copy of the book.


Laurie Sterne feels like he’s been cut adrift in space. His father has been shot dead, caught in the crossfire of a gangland war that has also claimed his boss’s life. Laurie is a refugee who lost his adoptive mum years before and doesn’t know where he was born, let alone who his birth parents were. But he’s not alone in the world: someone is trying to kill him.

This is London, 2050, a dumping ground for climate refugees and dissidents. Gangs rule, murder goes unpunished and the police make sure you can’t escape.

In his struggle to stay alive, he finds an ally: his former boss’s secret daughter.
But with the killer predicting his every move, is the man without a past being betrayed by the woman who seems to offer him a future?

The Black Ditch Cover


Amazon UK

Amazon US


You know Murphy’s Law? The theory that anything that can go wrong, will go wrong? Well, this is basically Laurie Sterne’s life in this dystopian thriller from Simon Lancaster.

The Black Ditch is a dark tale, that is both disturbing and at times a little depressing. Now, I appreciate this may sound as though I didn’t enjoy the book, but this couldn’t be further from the truth. Although I found it quite difficult reading at times, and had to take regular breaks for a spot of light comedy, I was totally gripped by Laurie’s story.

Set just 50 years into our future, The Black Ditch presents a shocking image of how climate change and attitudes to immigration have affected the world, and the UK in particular. It has a brutal, post-apocalyptic feel, with armed guards patrolling the streets and enemies around every corner. The street names and areas of London held names that were familiar to me, places that I have visited and can picture clearly, but at the same time it was a London that was entirely alien, and I think this is partly what made the book so unsettling for me, as it made this version of the future seem entirely too likely!

As Laurie battles for his very survival, and that of his friends, The Black Ditch becomes more and more gruesome and graphic. There is one particularly toe-curling scene that I wouldn’t recommend reading while you are having your dinner.

The Black Ditch is a fast-paced, action-packed book, full of twists and turns that will keep you guessing about who can be trusted, and what the truth is, right up to the last page.


The Black Ditch Author PhotoSimon J Lancaster is the author of The Black Ditch, the first in the Laurie Sterne trilogy of dystopian future thrillers. Prior to writing novels he was a national newspaper journalist in London, as well as a music critic and private pilot. He has written short stories and plays and, after reading extensively about climate change, concluded that the fantasy gun-play of contemporary-set action novels would be the lived experience of our coming world.




Win a signed copy of The Black Ditch, and for your name to be used for a character in the sequel (Open Int)

*Terms and Conditions –Worldwide entries welcome.  Please enter using the Rafflecopter link below.  The winner will be selected at random via Rafflecopter from all valid entries and will be notified by Twitter and/or email. If no response is received within 7 days then Rachel’s Random Resources reserves the right to select an alternative winner. Open to all entrants aged 18 or over.  Any personal data given as part of the competition entry is used for this purpose only and will not be shared with third parties, with the exception of the winners’ information. This will passed to the giveaway organiser and used only for fulfilment of the prize, after which time Rachel’s Random Resources will delete the data.  I am not responsible for despatch or delivery of the prize.


For more information on this book, why not have a look at the other blogs taking part in the tour.

The Black Ditch Full Tour Banner

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