Flame, £10.99 stg
Things are not going well at 664 Columbia Road. Pavlov, a 30-something-year-old agony uncle, has been given a pay cut at the teen mag where he works and his flatmate Slim Jim is yet another victim of the dot.com crash. Then, Pavlov's younger sister Cisco arrives unannounced and all hell breaks loose when the boy's evil landlord Cartier discovers his extra tenant.
Snatching his chance to make a fortune, Cartier offers the flatmates an ultimatum – agree to have webcams installed in their house and live rent-free or he will up the rent to a figure he knows they can't afford. He tells them that the webcams will beam a 24-hour live show, without sound, on the Internet from selected areas of the house. Believing it to be the lesser of the two evils, the flatmates reluctantly agree to have their lives beamed across the world.
However, after carefully mapping out the "dead zones", Pavlov, Slim and Cisco are horrified to discover that the entire house is "live" – including the bedrooms and the bathroom – on camplicity.com, their landlords pay-per-view site.
Suddenly things have changed and the object of the game is to get Cartier. With the help of Bleeding Rose, Cisco's catburglar friend, and Sweet William, their drug dealing local flower vendor, the flatmates hatch a cunning plan to exact revenge on their landlord and reclaim their lives.
Will they succeed or will Cartier outwit them in a plot that could ultimately cost the flatmates their lives? Matt Whymann's latest is a story told with style and wit.