The Black Country

Written by Kerry Hadley-Pryce

Review written by Russell James

Russell James has been named “the Godfather of Noir” by Ian Rankin. Russell writes crime novels - about criminals and victims, not the cozy procedural or whodunnit. He is the editor of Great British Fictional Detectives.


The Black Country
Salt
RRP: £8.99
Released: September 15, 2015
Pbk

An interesting idea lurks behind this odd book written, I was not surprised to discover, by an author studying for an MA in Creative Writing and who won a prize for outstanding achievement. It has Creative Writing stamped all over it.

Why, you wonder, is it written so conditionally? ‘Maddie,’ Harry would have said … He would have opened the curtains … He says he tried to stop himself …

You see what I mean?

A couple whose uneasy relationship seems as unreliable as that in Gone Girl are driving home, a little the worse for drink, when they accidentally knock someone over, someone they know – but they choose to drive quickly on. A hit and run. Next morning they feel they have to go back. The body has gone (you may not be surprised to learn) but his Patek Philippe watch is there, as is his wallet. What has happened? The story, and their relationship, becomes increasingly bizarre: this can’t be happening, and yet …

This is not a long book so, if you don’t find the style too irritating, you may race to the end – to a surprising revelation.

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