REVIEWS BY CHLOE
REVIEW OF SHAMUS DUST
Shamus Dust by Janet Roger. It’s very easy for me to write the next sentence.
I have never read a book quite like Shamus Dust.
I’ve seen other reviewers comparing Roger’s style to other writers, but for me, there’s something very unique and alluring about this story. In a nutshell, the plot follows a private investigator who has been hired by a councillor to keep an eye on a murder, which happened to a resident in one of the councillor’s rental properties. Newman seems bemused by the tasks the councillor asks him to begin with, but he can hardly turn the work down. As the investigation continues, Newman realises that this is no simple murder case, and with more bodies turning up, Newman begins to wonder if he’s put himself in danger.
The more pages I turned, the more complex this plot became. With a wide range of characters, each having their own agendas, it was difficult to guess the ending. Written in traditional detective noir style, if you like black and white murder mystery films, you’ll feel right at home within this tale.
One of my favourite aspects of this story was the setting – 1947 in London. Roger vividly portrays the city in the post war period, capturing the bombed out buildings in the background, highlighting that whilst life goes on, the damage the war caused is a humble every day reminder of what the country lost.
It’s a book that requires a distinct amount of focus, as the level of detail within this tale is mind boggling. Descriptive would be an understatement. Roger has written each sentence in a way that you can vividly imagine every moment, whether it’s a small or significant event. And this, I guess, is where I will pause and reflect on who will like this book. Roger’s style is very different to the current mass market reads. The style is more classical, the sentences are long and expressive; which is a stark contrast to the modern style I usually read with short, jumpy sentences. If you’re a fan of Le Carré’s work, I think you’ll adore Roger’s style. This is not a ‘light’ read and it will take you a long time to digest the sheer depth of this plot, but WOW… this is corruption on another level.
Review first published in Reviews by Chloé 14 November 2019
Published by Troubador. Shamus Dust is available for purchase on