Top critical review
13 people found this helpful
Second time not so lucky...
on 16 May 2013
After reading Jay Stringer's first novel about Eoin Miller, the gypsy detective from the Midlands, and not being really impressed but liking some aspects of the book I was interested to see if this second novel was an improvement. Eoin is an ex-policeman whose continuing desire to right the wrongs of his local West Midlands community is still strong and has led him to work for the shadier side of the underworld, where he is recruited to work for a club owner and notorious gangland boss. This leads him into a number of cases of rape of young immigrant girls and thus he becomes embroiled in an investigation that leads to uncomfortable revelations that are a little to close to his own past for comfort.
I like the premise of a crime novel set in the less familiar landscape of the towns of the West Midlands and the sense of place is quite well handled, and Stringer can string a sentence together (he is an obvious devotee of American noir fiction) but ultimately I could not warm to our 'hero' whose constant introspection and seeming self-pity became a little tedious. The story was quite slow to get going and the lack of tension made for a less than exciting read. Stringer seemed to introduce new characters at every turn and I ultimately found myself becoming quite confused.
I feel that a little less emphasis on the chief protagonist's self-pity and a bit more action would have improved this story no end, as ultimately I didn't care much about any of the characters.