A man is found battered to death, and what follows is a pleasantly straightforward murder mystery, with a detective who becomes obsessed with listening to the cassette tapes left by the victim.
This book was written in 1984, and is the first in a series of five crime thrillers, which I am planning to read (allegedly the fourth book, I Was Dora Suarez made the publisher vomit on his desk).
This is a short book, and is quite simple to understand; the characters engage well, and the detective in the book is given a good background, mostly revolving around how many younger officers have been promoted above his head because he seems very apathetic about his career, and later on he has a relationship with a stripper who was involved with the victim.
The book is mostly dark in tone (and occasionally becomes quite adult in nature), with only a few moments that might cause the reader to smile briefly, mostly the cynical comments made by the central character. The book gets slightly disturbing later on, when one of the characters is described as a mummy’s boy with a mother who liked to discipline him in various unsettling ways.
I got through this book in two days, and found it hard to stop reading because it was so intriguing; this is definitely a good example of British noir, and makes for compelling reading.
Next up: Hard Times by Charles Dickens