The Magazine for Crime & Mystery



Val McDermid Interview

Nevada Barr on writing HUNTING SEASON plus an excerpt

Paul Doherty's short story THE KYRIE MAN

Stark Contrasts Michael Carlson examines the pulp fiction of Richard Stark

Have you got what it takes to be a Writer? by Fiona Shoop

It Could Only Happen in Hollywood

The Nightwalker

Roy Lewis

Allison & Busby £17.99 hbk


Reviewed by Simon Fowler

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Down at heal Newcastle lawyer, Eric Ward, agrees to represent a protest group against some decidedly dodgy disposal of chemical waste. At the same time, against his better judgement, he agrees to represent the Nightwalker a sort of Geordie 'Benjy the Binman', whose collections of secrets ferreted out of dustbins are worrying local politicians. Oh, and his marriage is on the rocks.
Meanwhile a wild 15-year old petty thief and refugee from society has seen something he should have. You might think that this cocktail of plot might lead to a stimulating and thrilling novel. Well, you'd be wrong.
The characters are as flat and interesting as a leftover pint of Newcastle Brown and the author fails to make the most of the opportunities which the plot offers - Ward's marriage problems could have become a central part of the novel for example. Walker's writing is competent, if slightly dull, but his sense of place is poor and the end is one of the most contrived I've come across recently. Undoubtedly the North East scene is worthy of the attention of a competent novelist. Sadly this book is not going to encourage others to follow in its footsteps.

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