Fiction. London is a city of ruins and rubble: in fighting against a police state Britain has become almost a police state itself. Rationing is still in place, the black market is thriving, medical shortages have resulted in antibiotics being watered down. Though Britain was possessed of great decency there was a limit to what it might be expected to bear after suffering six years of war. The barbarities of war had changed peoples’ attitudes; nobody thought of foreigners in terms of human beings. The Salvation Army were singing of salvation while the kids on the street were singing saucy songs about inn keepers’ daughters and German officers that had crossed the line.
New arrival seventeen-year old Bridget Kelly dreams of a world where everyone is equal. “There is no cause more dangerous” warns one council official as she sets about the task of trying to make her dream come true. She is courageous and determined and in terrible danger. Her young nephew Michael schemes and plots to win the metal mountain, a gothic edifice, a treacherous Hades, a fabulous kingdom of iron. Meanwhile, his young aunt has come under the scrutiny of the British secret police. Blackmail, betrayal and murder follow. A perverse grand tragedy with an edge of iron that builds to a shocking climax.
“The skies darken. An urgent, brutal and ultimately tragic resolution is waiting in the railside scrapyard of The Metal Mountain. This glittering alp of damage, an unsorted mound heaped from the discarded toys of capitalism, is as potent a symbol for our contemporary confusions as the dust heaps of Dickens. Nature is avenged and Healy has given us a brave sequel, as genuine fiction now, to The Grass Arena.”–Iain Sinclair