With this book Nicholas Blincoe cements his position to me as one of those authors whose books sound and look good and then fails to produce the good. Acid Casuals was a total waste of time, and this one is only marginally better. The story is mainly about Jake, a successful London casino manager in his mid-30s. One night, a police inspector from Manchester shows up and coerces him into returning to that city where as a teenager back in 1981 he lived a hedonistic drugs and gay sex life. It seems that back then, Jake's best friend was murdered, and just a few weeks ago, another friend from the past was found dead.
The story switches back and forth between Jake's present day (1997ish) trip back to Manchester to dig up the dirt, and flashbacks to the days of seedy gay discos and Bowie clones. Clearly, Blincoe is also trying to contrast the gritty old days of Manchester's gay Village with the posh fin-de-millenium redevelopment of the city. Unfortunately, this never really pops off the page to someone who's never been to Manchester. Blincoe is too interested in the flash and sizzle of the past to keep the contemporary story moving, although at the end, as he slowly reveals the crimes of the past and Jake's role in them, the book gets a bit more interesting. However, if you like this stuff, a book with a similar plot, set in San Francisco's gay community in the early '90s, is Agnes Bushell's The Enumerator.