Book Review: Cold London Blues by Paul D Brazil
This book is caviar.
The characters have great names ("Be-bop De Luca"; "Aldo Calvino"; "Squeaky Thompson"), all of whom are delightfully memorable. (D I Nikki Scrace comes to mind: the muscular, transexual policewoman who investigates the case at the heart of the story).
The story itself is a can of worms into which the freakish cast is drawn willy nilly, through their different points of contact with a criminal family, a heist, a number of hits, and one or two murders that aren't hits.
But this book isn't just about characters and plot.
First and foremost it's about language, and this is where it really shines.
It's written like a hard-boiled novel from the fifties, updated for the present day, turbocharged, and powered by rocket-fuel.
There is at least one line on every page you'll want to quote to your friends. On many pages there are several. I inflicted a lot of them on my wife, often while she was watching television. She didn't take it too badly, bless her.
The strap-line for the book is: "Ealing comedy meets Pulp Fiction and has a love-child".
The blurb describes it as: "a violent and pitch-black Brit Grit comedy of errors."
These are both accurate descriptions, and do not oversell it - if anything, Cold London Blues is more fun than they suggest.
If you're looking for a read that'll entertain you, make you laugh, and open your eyes to just how wonderful language can be, this is the novel for you.
What more can I say?
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