New Year’s Day would be ugly enough thanks to the hangover if it wasn’t made worse by neighbors playing a certain and very annoying U2 song over and over. Fortunately in Seatown, a fading town on the northeast coast of England, Peter Ord, can pick up a few bucks here and there as a private investigator so that he can buy the booze and pills he needs to function. Look up self-medicating patient in the dictionary and there would be his name and a picture as he fits the classic definition. Despite his issues with drugs and alcohol he can get the job done when needed and the job is right. One such client is about to be Jack Martin who owns the “Velvettes” and a number of other strip joints in the region.
Jack clearly does not think much of Peter, but what he wants done should be easily handled by a man of his talents such as they are. He thinks some of his girls are giving customers a little too much pleasure outside the club and he wants them identified. If anyone is doing so, he wants to know about it. All he wants Peter to do is fit in with his clientele in the various places and find out what is happening. Considering the shape Peter is in these days, fitting it will not be a problem.
It is a case he can handle and one that indirectly leads to other cases and situations in this dark and very good novella from Paul Brazil. Much like Peter in his life, Gumshoe drifts along at a steady pace with no discernable end point in sight for much of the read. Peter works cases, meets people and makes observations on life. Sometimes funny, sometimes caustic, those observations add color and nuance not only to Peter, but to the cases themselves in this very enjoyable read.
E-Book (available in print)
Amazon advises me I picked this up last December. The author is very generous in making his titles available as free reads and I can’t remember now if I got it that way or he sent it to me directly. Either way it was for my use in an objective review.
Kevin R. Tipple ©2014