Join City of Stories

Sign up to the email and we'll keep you informed of all the latest Norwich goings-on. Once a fortnight you'll be sent ideas for places to eat, stay and visit, as well as our weekly list of things to do around the city, and an occasional glimpse into Norwich's fascinating - sometimes bizzare - past. What's more, you'll be the first to hear about offers and competitions exclusive to City of Stories.

We respect your privacy, and will only ever use your information to send you the newsletter. We will never share your data with third parties, we won't hold any information on you that we don't need, and won't spam you with things you don't really care about.

Sound good?

CM 002


Spot Norwich in the pages of 'The Chant'

Norwich has a long and proud history of authors (see our blog post all about them here) and enjoys not only World Literature UNESCO status but also the literary bastions of the UEA with its Creative Writing Courses and Writers' Centre Norwich on King Street. The latest inhabitant of our wonderful city attempting to make the big time in the book world is Carl Mason, with his debut novel, The Chant.


The author is a lawyer and so it is not surprising that he has written a legal thriller. However, moving into largely untested waters, Mason has combined the legal world with that of the dominatrix... and he's set The Chant in Norwich (a great choice, of course!)

The book's main character is Will Taylor, a 35-year-old college lecturer. His rather ordinary working and private life is thrown into turmoil when an unbelievably beautiful new female recruit joins the teaching staff. His best friend Dominic usually wins the ladies but on this occasion Lisa instantly makes it very clear that it is Will that interests her.

A hot blooded relationship dictated by Lisa ensues, thrusting Will into an erotic ride of unimaginable sexual pleasure and extreme pain. Lisa's roleplays, explicitly described, become increasingly dangerous. Her actions are not safe, consensual or even sane. 

An attempt to end the relationship only leads to more misery when a staff night out ends in a violent incident. Did Will really try to kill Lisa or were her injuries self-inflicted? What is evident is that the DI in charge has every desire to nail Will, by fair means or foul.

Mason then takes Will through the harrowing prosecution process which builds to an excruciating trial. When Will needs a good lawyer he luckily finds the very capable Jackie, to whom he is ardently drawn. Only at the very end does a supercharged climax reveal where the true power rests.

Readers may recognise some of the spots in the city where the action happens. Here are a few for starters:

  • The Norfolk College of Arts and History; a fictional seat of learning where Will and Lisa work, but evidently housed on the site of the City College, Ipswich Road.
  • Seamus's; where Will and Lisa share their first drink. Now St Andrew's Brew House, at the time of writing, this was Delaney's
  • Budgies Bar and Grill; the bar where Will and Lisa fall out and the index incident that leads to the legal proceedings takes place. This is without doubt what is now Mr Postle's Apothecary, on the corner of Queen's Street and Tombland. The area outside, including the former toilets, is pivotal to the plot.
  • The courts and prison are also utilised although, again for specific plot reasons - the court building is very different to that which stands on the Bishopgate site.
  • And then... a deserted barn in a field near Newton Flotman. You'll have to read the book to discover what happens there!



Carl forged the idea of what was to become his debut novel, The Chant, over 15 years ago. It grumbled and skulked in his literary belly for a decade or so, fed only by the occasional scribble on a notepad. Just over 4 years ago, the intrigue of what this story could look like became too much to bear; and so the writing began, initially in secret. Only when the word count reached 30,000 did Carl mention this to anyone.

Two years later, the first draft was completed. Since then, various edits and the forging of a relationship with Hornet Books have resulted in The Chant being ready for sale.

Born and raised in Lincolnshire, Carl went on to study Business Law at what is now Huddersfield University. He qualified as a solicitor in 1994 and has practiced within the courts, primarily in London and Norwich, ever since. He has also, since 2005, practiced as a mediator in commercial and other claims.

Outside of the office and writing, Carl “enjoys” golf and sings in a rock and roll band. He is married with one son and raises occasional sums for charity by running marathons slowly.

If you fancy buying the book to read it for yourself, then pick up a copy in Jarrold's book department today!

Please note this book contains explicit sexual content.

To plan a trip to Norwich check out our website