Iain Sinclair is as dark as London scribes come. Engaged in a lifelong literary project, he records his own psychic and physical travels around the city, identifying what he calls ‘disappear- ances’ — people, buildings, spaces that no longer exist, but that haunt the present. While Peter Ackroyd is in thrall to London, revelling in its labyrinthine past and bounding enthusiastically over its landscape, Sinclair instead seems tortured by the place, lost in an infinity of connections and coincidences, and made paranoid by the ghosts that he unearths. Nowhere, it seems, is this paranoia more intense than in Hackney, his home borough for the last 40 years. This book is a lot of things: autobiography, local history, macabre fiction and poetic representation, all glued together by Sinclair’s neurotic, fetishistic obsession with Hackney.