The advent of a new British detective anti-hero in this book, is rightly touted by the crits on the back. What stands out in Detective Nick Belsey's first foray is the way his creator Oliver Harris writes him. This is very literate clever witty and most of all intelligent crafting and makes it a joy to read. It reminded me a little of John Le Carre, except that Harris has the gift of making the reader gulp down the pages, where Le Carre forces the reader to be more circumspect. Harris has not written a cerebral spy novel, he's produced a cracking fast paced amusing read that will make readers want more. Belsey stretches moral police dubiety to breaking point, steals or begins to steal an oligarch's ID and money, finds himself in the sights of an assassin, undermines the authority of a police commissioner, steps over the lines of demarcation between the Met and the City forces, all the while of no particular fixed abode, having accumulated vast gambling debts, and imbibing much alcohol to create that temporary oblivion which enables him to steal and crash a police vehicle - and that's where the story starts. The penultimate denouement at Stansted airport has about it a Marx brothers flavour, which stayed with this reader, laughing aloud at its improbability, while measuring it by the obvious test - did the writer get away with it? And Harris did indeed, though he may want to consider avoiding this kind of absurdity as a comment on Belsey's world next time around, risking disrupting, as it almost did, the continuity of the grey in a new and welcome London detective noir. Does this sound like faint praise? It is in fact envy. Enjoy, all who enter hereon.