I’ve never read any of James
Craig’s books before, although this is his seventh Inspector Carlyle novel, and
I must say what an unorthodox crime novel it is.
isn’t to say I didn’t enjoy it. Quite the contrary. Not only could I not put it
down but I now want to read the other six, if only to find out if they are all
this strange or was I just having an off day?
having any peculiar eccentricities, John Carlyle comes across as a very
ordinary copper who isn’t too enthusiastic about his job which is just as well
as his superiors don’t seem to have too great of a regard for him.
thing is written tongue in cheek, the pace is fast, the scenes switch with
great rapidity and the characters are larger than life. As, indeed, is the
porn-loving Mayor of London, an elderly drug dealing businessman addicted to
Viagra Professional, a naked black Amazon stripper, a millionaire Premiership
footballer, the list goes on. Yet it is all told in a matter-of-fact way that
you accept it as a typical day on the beat.
the best features of James Craig’s writing are his humour and the way he puts
across political and personal observations in the mouths of his characters. Pointing out, for instance that 300 new
lap-dancing clubs have opened while more than 160 police stations had closed.
‘more strip clubs, betting shops and night clubs, fewer cop shops, post offices
and swimming pools’. And the viewing figures for the Queen’s Speech on TV are
down to a quarter from 25 years ago. ‘In a few years, they won’t be able to get
their own reality TV show’.
try to explain the plot, read it for yourself. You won’t regret it.