Back in time to the 1950s for a well-paced detective novel with plenty of action, murders and twists.
Leeds author Chris Nickson has used his own city knowledge to good effect as his private detective Dan Markham moves all over the district to defeat a new foe.
His latest enemy is a powerful empire builder who is gradually taking over businesses on the cheap thanks to threats and thugs. Markham becomes the only one able to stop him – but also, the one who needs to be stopped, despite being under suspicion for the first murder recorded in the book. Even his girlfriend feels the pressure and has to pay for Markham’s reluctance to get his bulldog teeth out of the enemy. As it races through – marked with interesting interludes which can only be based on the author’s love of jazz – there is only one fault I can find: Markham visits Ronnie’s Jazz Club in London several years before it actually opened.
I guess it is a warning for anyone looking at a particular era, particularly if detectives are involved; to stick to the facts.
But, that apart, a super read and a new-style private detective who it may well be worth getting to know a little more.