Agent: Alice Saunders
James Hall is a freelance journalist and one of The Daily Telegraph’s music critics. He also writes food and lifestyle features for The Guardian, The Observer, The Sunday Times and the Financial Times.
Prior to going freelance in 2013, James worked at The Daily Telegraph and The Sunday Telegraph for a decade, latterly as Consumer Affairs Editor. His time on the papers saw him interview everyone from Jonny Wilkinson to George Osborne. He has a degree in Social Anthropology from Edinburgh University, and lives in London with his wife.
His debut novel, The Industry of Human Happiness (Lightning Books) is a tale of love, murder and obsession in the early days of recorded sound. Set in the murky backstage world of late Victorian theatre-land, it's a novel about the obsessive characters who dreamed of bringing recorded music to the masses. Max and his younger cousin Rusty have a vision of launching the gramophone industry from a Covent Garden basement. But a renowned opera singer is brutally murdered in his hotel bed and they are thrust into the underworld of opium dens, brothels and extortion. Ghosts from the past and a contested inheritance turn the cousins against each other, and they go head-to-head to launch rival talking machines. With Max's sweetheart, the ambitious singer Delilah Green, caught in the middle, the pair battle rival manufacturers, London theatre owners and, ultimately, each other, for their very futures.