CHAMBER MUSIC

Written by Tom Benn

Review written by Adam Colclough

Adam Colclough lives and works in the West Midlands, he writes regularly for a number of websites, one day he will get round to writing a book for someone else to review.


CHAMBER MUSIC
Jonathan Cape
RRP: £12.99
Released: 1st March 2013
Hbk

Manchester in the late 1990’s, Henry Bane is laying to rest his father and linking up with an old flame, Roisin, back in town after eight years with a wounded boyfriend and a whole lot of trouble in tow.

Just to keep things good and tense Hagfish, a wild eyed Yardie with a unique weapon of choice is trying to muscle in on Bane’s boss’s territory. Things in Madchester are about to get madder than ever.

Tom Benn’s second novel more than lives up to the promise shown in his brilliant debut ‘The Doll Princess’, he has put together a first class piece of British noir involving lost love, gang warfare and a soundtrack to die for. The pace is relentless and his prose style shifts seamlessly between cool literary brilliance and utterly believable bleakness.

Benn captures perfectly the unique character of Manchester as a place where the stylish and the workaday collide, often with painful consequences. He is also good on the period details of life in the later nineties, even if for any reader over the age of thirty realising such things are period details comes as something of a shock.

This is the sort of book that crime writing can aspire to literary merit without being awkwardly self conscious. Tom Benn isn’t just a good writer within the confines of his chosen genre; he is one of the most exciting young British novelists working in any genre.

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