Updated: Mar 25
Submissions Director. Author of over a score of books, including Travelogues, Gothic, Horror, Science Fiction and YA adventures. Here's what Robert Wingfield has to say in his recent review of Shamus Dust:
As a submissions director, I have come across many works written by Americans about the UK, where the only contact they've had with the old country is seeing the name on a tin of beans, and the output is about as genuine as a nine-bob note.
Not so with Shamus Dust. The amount of detail and research that has gone into this work is awesome (literally - look it up in the New Oxford Dictionary). The author brings London, a few years after the 2nd Pointless World War, into sharp focus, detailing the hard winter, flattened buildings, the attempts at regeneration, and a police force struggling against corruption and opportunism.
I worked in London for many years, and I'm staggered by the authenticity of the narrative, which goes into places so thoroughly, you can trace it by the yard on the street map. Add into that a multiple murder mystery, the likes that RC would be proud of, with the quirky phrases, twists and turns and the customary beatings of the American PI, and you have a novel you won't be able to put down.
Shame the great Bogart has passed on. When they make it a film, I wonder who they could possibly choose instead (answers on a postcard please).
You do have to keep notes on the characters though, because there are many of them tangled together, all with their own agendas, and many turning up dead. The plot is easier, in that our hero, Newman, does have to go through it at various points as new information or characters come on line.
Favorite quotes include: "The [hospital] foyer was filled with the smell they bottle just for surgery, and painted in shades of the North Atlantic in February, so dismal that if you weren't dead on arrival, at least you could know how it felt."
"The slick of cloud looked as if it might start raining oil." [Yes! London captured on a winter's day.]
"Trained legal minds deliberated on the statutes the way a clam deliberates on an ice age."
The author's only problem will be how to top what is already written, but I am craving for more.