The dark side of book dealing

The last day or so has been rather dull as I spent most of it in bed with a monstrous headache. I did manage to complete a 10-mile run before I was struck down, so it's not all bad.

Meanwhile: I found the text below in a Fortean Times interview with Iain Sinclair.  It's a brilliant thumbnail sketch of a strange and dangerous world:

was dealing books from about 1976 to 1986, and for a while it was
potentially quite dangerous – books and drugs were counter-balanced.
Some dealers were literally getting enough profit in a week to set up
the next week's coke deals. There was a particular house in Cannon St
that's right by the crossroads where the head of the Ratcliffe Highway
murderer is buried, and in this house was a pile of really abstruse
books, lots of first editions, and also all this drug stuff. There'd be
people arriving in the middle of the night and you wouldn't know if it
was drugs or books they were after – both were done with enormous
secrecy. The place was watched room across the road by a disgruntled
book dealer who was acting as a police informer.

It was quite
dangerous back then. One man, Chris Rowden, who ran Bell, Book and
Rowden ended up shooting himself with a shotgun. He was very much part
of this nexus, involved in some very dodgy business. I don't think
things are as bad as that anymore.

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