Death on a Dirty Afternoon by Colin Garrow.
4 stars out of 5
I chose to read this novel because of the title – a very good choice of the writer, I’d say.
The story develops in a seaside town somewhere on the Geordie Shore and the beginning is intriguing as it presents the first victim laid on his own dining table in broad daylight. This is what makes Terry Bell – the protagonist - get involved in a dangerous adventure, trying to find out what has actually happened.
In the tradition of such novels, the story also involves interesting women and, of course, cars. There’s also humor, sometimes dry or bitter but catchy. I understand that the writer tried to keep everything as authentic as possible and that is why he used the language specific to the area. I am afraid though that not everyone would find it easy to follow.
Terry Bell – the protagonist – is not a very smart or strong guy. He is just a regular guy, a little adrift in life, not sure of what he wants or what he should do. However, he tries to do the right thing most of the time. The evolution of the character is subtle but in the end he is well developed and quite likable. The female protagonist makes a shy appearance and her presence in the story is quite marginal in the beginning. The character is rounded enough in the end.
So, good plot, with twists, which keep the reader involved; interesting characters; good humor. So why 4 stars and not 5? Because here and there I had the feeling that the plot lacked cohesion here and there. It’s not a biggie but detracted from the story, though.
Nevertheless, a good read – I will recommend it.
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