REVIEW OF SHAMUS DUST
MURKY DEEDS IN POST-WAR LONDON
"I thoroughly enjoyed this story. It was interesting, moved along at a good pace, and the descriptions of post-war London were excellent, and easy to visualise.
The Shamus, ie. American private detective Mr. Newman, receives a phone call on Christmas Day from a London local politician, Councillor Drake, telling him there has been an incident and he must take a set of keys to the Detective Inspector of the City police, who is in charge of the incident. Councillor Drake’s driver has the keys and is waiting in the street for him. Newman’s customary fee will be doubled.
Newman does as requested, and finds that the incident concerns a man who has been killed outside a church, a nurse found the body when she visited the church for private prayer on her way to work. He is intrigued because parts of the story do nothing true, so he allows his curiosity to get the better of him, and starts investigating for himself. The death toll keeps rising, and people are getting beaten up, including Newman on several occasions.
He gradually uncovers a sorry tale of crooked policemen, dishonest businessmen and councillors, and sordid lifestyles that have created many of the misfortunes suffered by people involved in the corruption, for themselves and their families.
I was reminded of books by Raymond Chandler in the way the story is written.
The police corruption is quite shocking in places, I would hope the author is using poetic licence for the story-line; but we are talking about half a century ago, powerful business men were not going to show scruples in the rush to make huge fortunes rebuilding London.
Well worth reading."
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