Updated: Oct 4, 2021
I first came across Phil Clarke when he posted a comment from Philmscribe on my Twitter page to say that SHAMUS DUST was on his TBR pile. And then of course it made its way further up the stack, and before long he was letting his own followers know how much he was enjoying the read.
That was a special pleasure because Phil is a professional with some twenty eye-popping years in film. And what film! His roster at the coalface includes features Sleepy Hollow, Enigma, The Beach and two of the very grandest box office franchises: Star Wars and Harry Potter. Now for the cut to the chase. Here’s his five-star Amazon review of SHAMUS DUST.
"Raymond Chandler Reborn.
If you love your film noir, your detective fiction in the style of Chandler or Hammett, then you should be all over this. Janet writes as if standing in the shadows, a cigarette hanging from her lips, the collar popped on her raincoat. An absolute must read."
Reviewers who know their films noirs are something of a theme on the SHAMUS DUST web pages. And since I’m a confessed enthusiast myself, I couldn’t be more delighted. You’ll get an idea just how many are out there from the Reviews tab but here's an example from Gill Chedgey who chose SHAMUS DUST as one of her Top Ten Books of the Year 2019 for NB MAGAZINE:
"Think film noir. B Movie. American voiceover from old black and white crime cinema. Read this book in black and white. Don’t think colour unless it’s blood.
Newman’s your man, scurrying along the fog ridden, snowy streets of London and the murky dives of dubious decency, lighting his cigarettes with careless panache. Shamus Dust. Racketeers and renegades, no dungeons and dragons.
When I read the title I thought it might be a magical realism tale, a futuristic magic journey, a fantasy private eye. It isn’t. It doesn’t go there. Nor should it. It’s classic. It’s sophisticated. It’s something of an homage to gumshoes and Chandlers. It’s only the eggs that are hardboiled. It’s atmospheric. It’s descriptive. it’s relevant."
And another is from musician /songwriter Mike Davies:
"Now... I have always been disappointed with how well Marlowe has been portrayed in film; it has never quite worked for me.
Perhaps that's the way it should be and needs to stay.
However, any filmmaker truly attempting to capture the Marlowe character and the Chandler tradecraft should be compelled by law to engage Janet Roger!!! "
Screenwriting? I’ll leave that one to Phil Clarke, who knows the art and the industry from the inside. His screenplays are optioned in the UK and Hollywood and his books are published worldwide. He’s a script consultant based in the UK, working with writers who’ve won or placed highly at major script competitions, on projects optioned, produced, and débuting at Cannes. Check his website where you'll find lots more about him, including some interesting interviews. He’s also on Twitter @philmscribe.