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.
Tracking down a
disreputable local GP with some documents his client wants back in his pocket,
is all in a day's work for Barbados born private eye J T Ellington.
Then a stray remark made by the woman who hires
him, that he should ask the missing doctor "where we can find the
truth", proves to be of deadly importance. Truth isn't a random concept,
she's an orphan that a lot of powerful people want to see come to harm. Finding
her is only the start of Ellington's problems; now he has to keep them
both alive until he can work out who wants them, dead; and why.
I used to hold the opinion that
British writers couldn't really do Private Eye [PI] novels, as the canvas they
work on is perhaps too parochial; as well as the shadow that Chandler, Hammett,
MacDonald and those who followed in their wake cast over the PI subgenre.
It is pleasing that M P Wright
has come along to prove me wrong on both counts. This book is, literally, a world
away from what came before; but it isn't hard to imagine Chandler, Hammett, and
MacDonald enjoying it as an example of their sub-genre at its best. Not least
because in J T Ellington, Wright has created a character who is an outsider
twice over, first as a West Indian living in 60's Bristol and a man of
conscience operating in a murky world.
Wright writes well about Britain
in the sixties, though his view is miles away from the swinging Carnaby Street
that most are familiar with - a place where prejudices run deep, and the
after-glow of deference allows authority figures to act with impunity.
As with any good thriller the
action comes thick and fast with the chase element told at a blistering pace.
None of this gets in the way of this being a well told, and thoughtful
narrative involving fully-rounded characters you want to encounter again, and