Adam Colclough lives and works in the West Midlands, he writes regularly for a number of websites, one day he will get round to writing a book for someone else to review.
Clay Moloney is a hack, happy to while away his stalled career in Warrnambool, re-writing press releases, annoying his editor and drinking beer in the sun; something that is never in short supply on Australia’s south coast.
The discovery of a young woman’s body on the beach [a crime the police seem reluctant to investigate], reawakens Moloney’s taste for real journalism. The trouble is it might get him killed before he unravels what happened.
Books with two authors often come out about as well as soup made by a committee, thankfully, this one buck’s that trend. Largely because Tony Black and Matt Neal keep things simple, delivering along the way a solid old school thriller. This book may touch many bases familiar to long time readers of the genre, but it does so with style, energy and originality.
Bay of Martyrs, as a tale of official corruption and personal redemption owes a considerable debt to film noir. Moloney is a wounded idealist disguised as a self-destructive cynic. The sort of almost heroic character forever getting bashed over the head and given to firing off wisecracks you know is going to come good in the last reel.
The supporting characters are well drawn and the Australian setting is pleasingly different from more familiar mean streets. In fact, it could mark the beginning of a new trend.
Aussie noir has a certain ring to it, almost like the sound of half-empty lager cans being banged together at the end of a test match. If this is the start of a new wave in crime writing, you can expect Tony Black and Matt Neal to surf it all the way to Bondi beach.
Editor’s Note : Tony Black [from Scotland] and Matt Neal [from Australia] are both well-known authors and journalists.