Image for 14/11/2011

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1 hour, 55 minutes
First broadcast:
Monday 14 November 2011

Bestselling American crime-writer Michael Connelly joins Simon in the Radio 2 Book Club. He's discussing his new novel, The Drop. Matt, Rebecca and listeners offer their verdict. We have another confession, a homework problem solved, and a Blues Showstopper to get you in the mood for Paul Jones. Plus sport, money and travel with the one and only Sally Boazman.

Music Played

14 items
  • Image for Wings

    Wings Listen To What The Man Said

    Paul McCartney - All The Best!, Parlophone

  • Image for Caro Emerald

    Caro Emerald Stuck

    (CD Single), Dramatico, 1

  • Image for David Essex

    David Essex Oh What A Circus

    The Very Best Of Andrew Lloyd Webber, Polydor

  • Image for Maroon 5

    Maroon 5 This Love

    (CD Single), J

  • Image for Eagles

    Eagles Desperado

    The Best Of Eagles, Asylum

  • Image for Manic Street Preachers

    Manic Street Preachers This Is The Day

    (CD Single), Columbia, 19

  • Image for Hank Mizell

    Hank Mizell Jungle Rock

    Rock & Roll Classics (Various Artists), Knight Records, 14

  • Image for Amy Winehouse

    Amy Winehouse and Mark Ronson Valerie

    (CD Single), Sony BMG

  • Image for World Party

    World Party Ship Of Fools


  • Image for Tony Bennett

    Tony Bennett and Lady Gaga The Lady Is A Tramp

    Duets II, Columbia, 1

  • Image for Guns N’ Roses

    Guns N’ Roses Welcome To The Jungle

    Greatest Hits, Geffen

  • Image for Erasure

    Erasure Be With You

    (CD Single), Mute Records Limited, 1

  • Image for Erasure

    Erasure Be With You

    (CD Single), Mute Records Limited, 1

  • Image for John Lee Hooker

    John Lee Hooker Boom Boom (Original Version)

    Blues Brother Soul Sister (Various Artists), Dino

  • Blues Showstopper Choice

    OPTION A : Them – Here Comes The Night
    OPTION B : Robert Cray Band – Don’t Be Afraid Of The Dark
    OPTION C : John Lee Hooker – Boom Boom
    OPTION D : Bo Diddley – I’m A Man

    Text the word ‘BLUES’ plus your choice A, B, C or D to 88291 – with NO gap in between.

    Texts are charged at your standard message rate.

    …You have until 6.45 tonight…then join Paul Jones after 7 for the best in blues.

  • Confession: Push Start

    Dear Father Simon,

    Back in the late 70’s and early 80’s I was a police sergeant stationed at a small rural police station. There was, and still is, a small public car park situated directly in front of it. It was the era of the Ford Cortina, the Corsair and other legendary cars which were notoriously simple to lock yourself out of. Commonly, we would get two or three drivers a day calling in the station asking us to help them to get back into their locked cars. These were the days of the ignition ‘jigglers’ - a bunch of very worn keys which were kept at all police stations on a makeshift metal coat hanger in the front office bottom drawer. We were all expert jigglers and prided ourselves that we could break into any car. Far from being a nuisance, we welcomed these challenges and were seldom defeated.

    As I recall, it was a sunny afternoon when a driver rang the front office bell to ask us to get into his car. Somehow he had locked it leaving the keys in the ignition. I was in the office with my colleague Nick who asked, “Where are the spare keys, sir?”

    “Back at home miles away I’m afraid” the gentleman replied. Scooping up the jiggler keys I told the gentleman to go back to his car and we would meet him in the car park. As we approached, I could see there was something different about the lock on the driver’s door. Some addition or other. Something that normally wasn’t there. In a way I was quite pleased. This was going to be a worthy challenge for my jiggling skills. While Nick chatted away to the gentleman on the passenger side of the car I bent down and began what I perceived to be a prolonged and perhaps ineffective jiggling session on the driver’s door. I could hear him saying to Nick, pompously “Oh, he won’t get in that way, mate. I’ve had those locks reinforced. There’s no way he’s going to get in like that”.

    I recall two thoughts going through my head at this time. The first being ‘well, if you are so sure, why did you ask for our help?’ This was immediately followed by a much stronger thought of ‘Oh yes? Well, I’ll show you then”.

    To my complete surprise and following only a 10 second jiggle, I saw the locking button inside the window slowly rise. However, he was still so busy recounting to Nick that his amazing car was impregnable, that he didn’t see I had managed to unlock the door ….but I didn’t open it.

    Instead, a thought went through my mind which has haunted me ever since. You see, the gentleman was so insistent we were not up to the task I decided there and then that he needed a lesson in having more confidence in his local bobby. I stood up and looked across the roof of the car and said, “You are quite right sir. It’s the devil’s own job getting into this car. I’m afraid our traditional methods aren’t going to cut it”.

    Far from being upset at this news, a broad smile came across the smug gent’s face as he gleefully retorted, “I knew it. I knew you wouldn’t be able to get into this car”. This made me even more determined to make him pay for his obvious belief that I would fail – a somewhat perverse reaction on his part when you think about it.

    “OK”, I said, “I’ll have a little bet with you. If I can’t get into your car in the next five minutes, I’ll give you a fiver. If I do, however, there is a Police Benevolent Fund box at the nick. If I get in you have to put a fiver in the box. What do you think?”. The gent immediately came back, “You’re on” but still had a smirk across his face, obviously still believing he was on a winner.

    I lowered my voice and said in a secretive tone, “Now, what I am going to show you, only the manufacturers and some police officers know about. If it got out how we do this we could be in a lot of trouble. Can I trust you on this?” His jaw dropped and eyes opened even wider in anticipation. Knowing that the driver’s door was already open, like a hooked fish I started to reel him in.

    I approached the front wing of the car and placed the palm of my hand on it. Having felt around it I then got the gentleman to place his clenched fist on an exact spot on the wing. I went back to the driver’s door and, putting my right hand on the handle, I started to run my other hand across the roof of the car. As I did this I looked to the heavens as though seeking divine inspiration.

    The gentleman, and Nick come to that, looked completely bemused as I announced, “When I feel the release point on the roof I am going to press down on it. When I do that I will shout for you to bash the front wing exactly where your fist is. ‘I’m just feeling for the energy lines’ I said. ‘All cars have ley lines, just like Mother Earth. I’m looking for the car’s pulse. Have you got that?”

    An incredulous car owner looked up at me and said, “Yeh, do it”. As my left hand reached no particular point in the middle of the roof I pushed down and shouted to the gentleman, “Hit it” which he did with great gusto…..and at this point I simply opened the driver’s door! He was amazed. Completely astounded. “I’ve never seen anything like that before” he exclaimed. “How did you do it?”. “Trade secret I’m afraid” I said, “but, remember, you agreed not to tell anybody”.

    He duly placed a fiver in the Police Benevolent Fund box and went happily on his way perhaps a little discouraged that we had managed to get into his ‘Fort Knox’.

    Now, you see, I don’t seek forgiveness from the gentleman. He paid an acceptable price for having so little faith in the Constabularies officers. However, I think we all know there is no way on earth that this man did not go home and try to demonstrate this skill on his mate’s Cortinas. Therefore, the forgiveness I seek is from all remaining Ford Cortinas, who took an unnecessary beating to satisfy my warped sense of humour.



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