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A fireball in the thundery sky

A VIVID childhood memory triggered the idea for my latest book of essays.

On a thundery winter day in 1946, a Lancaster bomber crashed into a field in my home village of Wigston Magna, Leicestershire, skimming over the local school before exploding on impact a few yards away. All six Polish airmen aboard were killed, their remains blown into nearby trees.

I was a two-year-old toddler at the time, playing on the parlour floor of my home less than a mile away. I recall seeing my mother silhouetted on our doorstep against an orange sky yelling 'It's on fire!' to neighbours as the blazing aircraft plunged to its doom.

The Day That The Plane Came Down is the lead essay in this 142-page collection, which also includes two pieces I wrote about the notorious American murderess Sante Kimes, who I interviewed in a New York prison in 2011. Like the plane crash, Mrs Kimes made an indelible impression on my mind, so much so that I was compelled to write a book about her called Evil and Son, published in 2014.

My latest book will be available before the summer.

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