Updated: Nov 12
"Shamus Dust was my Book of The Year 2019, and boy, did it ever have some competition! Its solitary hero, exquisitely complex plot, and bleakly convincing 1947 London were just mesmerising, however."
"From page one it was obvious that Shamus Dust was something special. It’s the year of my birth, so my personal memories are less than reliable, but Janet Roger’s shattered, frugal, just-about-surviving London of Christmas 1947 rang instantly true. It’s bitterly cold, snow-swept and barely festive.
A private investigator we only ever know by his surname – Newman – can’t afford a holiday, and so he accepts a brief from a powerful local politician to ‘tidy up’ an unfortunate incident. Several bodies later, the complex plot no longer matters as we are swept along by the author’s dazzling prose. A Chandler tribute? Possibly, as Janet Roger is an unapologetic devotee.
Blend cutting one-liners, a literally chilling atmosphere, and a genuine sense of a decent man caught up in the complacent corruption of the powerful and you have my novel of the year for 2019.
I wrote: “Every so often a book comes along that is so beautiful and so haunting that a reviewer has to dig deep to even begin to do it justice.” Shamus Dust is Brilliant. Simply brilliant."
And there really was some competition! Christopher Fowler, James Lee Burke, Val McDermid and Philip Kerr. What a lineup!
You can read Mr. Prestidge's full review of SHAMUS DUST here: https://fullybooked2017.com/2019/09/28/shamus-dust-between-the-covers/