REVIEW OF SHAMUS DUST
AN OUTSTANDING NOIR MYSTERY /THRILLER
A beautifully written Noir mystery/thriller featuring a private eye who'd give Philip Marlowe a run for his money. The story is set in London in 1947 during one of the coldest winters on record. All the action takes place between Christmas and New Year as our hero, a private investigator called Newman is drawn into a web of corruption in the City of London (a city within a city and one that, even 70 years on, is a law unto itself) after his discovery of the body of pimp and blackmailer Raymond Jarrett shot to death outside a church.
From there on the body count rises as Newman's investigation reveals a twisted plot involving corrupt policemen, crooked property speculators and a wealth of colourful characters from down-and-outs to rich men planning ways to increase their wealth.
Along the way, Newman suffers a couple of very nasty beatings as his inquiries upset people who don't want the real story behind a series of murders to ever be revealed. There's just a hint of a love interest for him thanks to the ministrations of a stand-in police doctor who risks her career by helping Newman with his case.
The language is a delight. First time author Janet Roger's description of war-torn London as the city suffers a bitterly cold winter will make the reader shiver.
It's a story you don't want to end as you cheer for the good guy and hope he makes it out the other side in one piece. This is crime writing of the highest order and if there's any justice in this world, Janet Rodger's first novel will win a shedload of awards. I do hope we hear from Newman again.
If you haven't heard of it, you have to track down "Shamus Dust: Hard Winter. Cold War. Cool Murder." by Janet Roger and read it as soon as possible. Published in October 2019, it is one of the best noir mystery novels of the past 50 years and more.