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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Through a Needle's Eye, 11 Aug. 2014
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This review is from: Thieves in the Night (Kindle Edition)
“Thieves in the Night” tells the story of Dan Hanvey, a “musicien maudit”, a guitarist of genius, but addicted to cocaine. As he declares at the start to the narrator, Bron Harding, himself an accomplished but lesser musician, he is destined to go to hell. Moving back and forth in time from that initial meeting, the novel traces Dan’s life in south London and Brighton, and the crowd of dealers, petty criminals and drop-outs among whom he moves, with their chronic desperation and their mutual betrayals, hardly mitigated by the efforts of the unsympathetically depicted social workers and the dreary high-rise flats into which they are placed. Working largely through sharply observed dialogue, it requires intelligent concentration on the part of the reader to pick up the oblique references and the veiled comments that the characters make on each other and on the activities in which they have been involved. It is nevertheless a rewarding read because of the understanding of the world that is being described, and the consequent sense of authenticity. Furthermore, the scenes set in the underbelly of Brighton, as well as the Catholic funeral of one of the drop-outs at the end of the novel, resonate with overtones of Graham Greene in their controlled disillusionment existing alongside a dim awareness of a pattern of divine judgement being worked out. “If ever I knew a man to fit through the eye of a needle,” comments Bron at the conclusion, “it was the one I had just left.”
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