This is the first book of what looks set to be a brilliant new detective series set in the 1960's. It's the story of London copper, Vince Treadwell, who's sent down to Brighton to investigate what looks like a dead end murder, but turns out to be anything but.
The time period is convincingly evoked, not just in terms of music and fashion, but in terms of the morals and language of the characters. Brighton, too, springs to life. It's where I live and it's impossible now, having read this book, to walk around without thinking that the events described in Kiss Me Quick are anything other than real.
The book's hero, Vince Treadwell, is an excellently realised creation. A cop who's as hard as the villains he's up against, who grew up among them and who knows how they think. He's tough and cool, but with an Achilles heel of romanticism that just might prove his downfall. Think Michael's Caine's Harry Palmer meets Paul Weller as detective. Vince is pretty much someone any bloke would kill to be and a lot of women would like to meet.
The villains he's up against - Jack Regent and Henry Pierce - are nightmare-inducing in their ruthlessness. But they're no cartoon cut-outs. More the kind of professional psychopaths you just pray you never meet.
It's no surprise to read that author, Danny Miller, cut his teeth as a screenwriter. The plotting is intricate and continually surprising. A gem of an ending too. One that leaves you itching for more. This is a real page-turner which will keep you guessing right to the very end. Roll on book two. I, for one, will be snapping it up.