Monday, 12 December 2011


Ever heard of local author and cult novelist Terry Finch? Nope, me neither. Apparently, according to this website, Terry Finch wrote a series of pulp paperbacks in the late 1970s called The Reprisalizer, beginning with 'The Fury': “a tough, uncompromising tale of gangland violence and ruthless retribution on the streets of Margate.”

In the books, The Reprisalizer was the pseudonym embraced by its main protagonist Bob Shuter, a man seeking revenge for the electrification of his twin brother's testicles, who sets about “blasting Thanet's underworld apart in a hail of .38 slugs” and becoming “a vigilante whose war of vengeance is brutal." Sounds rather like your average Friday night out in Escape, doesn't it?

Anyway, I stumbled across this fansite dedicated to Terry Finch's work, and noticed that Arlington House features quite prominently on a particular section of the site. When I asked the site's administrator if Arlington House really was the inspiration for some of the artwork, I got an email from Frank Barrow, President of The Terry Finch Appreciation Society, who said the following:

“It is indeed Arlington House in Margate. Terry actually used to live there in the mid '70s and set quite a few of his novelettes in and around the building – the most famous ones, of course, being 'Anarchy in Arlington' and its sequel 'Arlington Apocalypse' – two of Terry's key police siege stories.”

Wow, how excellent is that?! I can't wait until the eBooks are made available! Word has it that a film adaptation of The Reprisalizer is currently in the works by writer and director Matthew Holness, the man behind spoof Channel 4 TV show Garth Marenghi's Darkplace, with shooting expected to begin next yearOne might even speculate that the creation of this fansite is no mere coincidence...

Wait a minute – isn't that the same Matthew Holness who upon winning a Perrier Comedy Award for his portrayal of the fictitious pulp horror novelist Garth Marenghi famously refused to speak out of character? The same Matthew Holness who has previously been known to embrace a literary technique called false document to add a layer of mystery and intrigue around his comic creations, blurring the line between fact and fiction?

Hmm... Garth Marenghi... Terry Finch... Has the penny dropped yet? Well, you never know, if we're lucky, we might actually get to see what Arlington House looks like on the big screen when The Reprisalizer hits our local cinemas in summer 2013. That's if Tesco don't interfere, of course.

In the meantime, of course, as Frank Barrow said to me: “Here's to Finch, Thanet and preserving Brutalist architecture throughout Kent!” And who could argue with that?!

Please make sure you visit The Reprisalizer website... and prepare to be amazed!


  1. Maybe the best thing for Arlington House is a remake of that famous documentary "Ronan Point"

    I suggest the occupants are not used as extras though.

  2. wow! brilliant find, Luke. Thank you!