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Moonchild's Sins (P.I. Potter #1)
Moonchild's Sins (P.I. Potter #1)
Price: £1.14

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Moonchild Win, 17 Nov. 2013
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If there's one thing Darren Sant is good at, it's creating believable characters that jump off the page and sing for you with a mixture of comic and practical effect. He did it with the characters from his Longcroft tales and he does it again here. PI Potter is cast into an everyman role, a bloke displaying all the usual characteristics of his Stoke-on-Trent roots: he likes his real ale, loves his oatcakes and full English breakfasts and has an eye for the ladies; his acerbic wit and quick dialogue roll off the page and make this short a very enjoyable read and one for me to digest in just over half an hour.

As a Stoke-on-Trent lad myself, it's refreshing to read an enjoyable piece of work based in the place of my birth. There are references to Burslem, Newcastle-under-Lyme, Hanford, Bucknall and Hanley, as well as a few of the occasional landmarks. Stoke has been calling out for a fictional character to call their own since Jabez and his distinguished colloquialisms appeared in local paper The Sentinel, and I think they may have found one here. PI Potter is a breath of fresh air to a region that breeds famous literary characters few and far between.

As for the story itself PI Potter is approached in his office above a chippy by a wealthy and beautiful Mrs Moonchild. After explaining that she has been having an affair with her gym instructor, she then informs him that she is being blackmailed by an unknown party. To make matters worse, her husband is a renowned gangster with a penchant for dishing out violence in the form of two burly henchmen. And so it ensues, the ducking and diving, clever plotting and swindling. As well as discovering the identitiy of her blackmailer, Potter must then tread very carefully in case, as he puts it, "end up in concrete wellies at the bottom of the River Trent."

The pace throughout the story continues relentlessly until the final paragraph, and Sant even includes a couple of deft subplots in there to keep the momentum going. I'm not sure what the writer's intention is with this character, but I for one would look forward to another instalment from this fictional private eye, and I'm sure residents of Stoke, and all fiction fans alike come to mention it, would too.

The Silent Land
The Silent Land
Price: £4.99

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Recommended read., 28 July 2013
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This review is from: The Silent Land (Kindle Edition)
Very well-written and intelligently played out. The dialogue crackles with wit and energy throughout and by the end it will leave you with a lump in your throat the size of a football. I can see why Hollywood are knocking.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Sep 14, 2014 6:38 PM BST

The Late Greats: A gripping page turner you can't put down (Joe Geraghty Book2)
The Late Greats: A gripping page turner you can't put down (Joe Geraghty Book2)
Price: £1.99

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A smashing read!, 15 April 2012
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In a climate where most successful bands from the late-80s and early-90s are getting back together for one last song, it seems a fitting subject for Nick Quantrill's latest book, The Late Greats.

Hull's most famous musical export (no, not The Beautiful South) is band in a similar vein to Blur or Suede, and they're due to make a money-spinning comeback too. One problem, though: their lead singer has disappeared. PI Joe Geraghty is hired by the magnificently named Kane Major - the band's arrogant manager, and throughout his search the PI encounters pitfall after pitfall.

Quantrill's writing style is easy reading and his words flow from the page seamlessly - it's easy to lose hours in a day devouring his work. The main difference between this novel and his previous works is the character-driven element that prevails in this story. A good character stays with you long after you leave the book behind, and Nick has a few here.

This novel suggests that, if he is not already at the peak of his writing powers he is certainly approaching it. Quantrill's progress as a fiction writer over the next few years will be interesting to see - watch out Peter Robinson!

Tales From The Longcroft (Tales From The Longcroft Estate Book 1)
Tales From The Longcroft (Tales From The Longcroft Estate Book 1)

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars something in the water., 15 April 2012
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This collection of richly-woven tales, set in TV's Shameless-esque working-class suburbia, not signifies not only the emergence of a top writer in the genre, but it seems significant and a stroke of tactical genius for Byker Books to sign the author when they did - perhaps it's not only the St James' Park club up the road with a penchant for great signings this year. Maybe there's something in the water up there.

There's absolutely no space in these three stories to flesh out all the characters Sant has introduced us to here, but he does well with the space he's given, and once you've devoured these tasty morsels you'll be hungry for the next instalment. Already we have great characters - from the cheeky-yet-loveable schemies to the hard men and the slags and the chancers - and plenty of manoeuvres for great plotlines. The dark comedy evokes Irvine Welsh, but there are some dark undertones too, almost as though the writer is daring you to laugh for fear of what's around the corner - it's gripping.

What Sant also does is interlink each story, giving the effect of a community at work; with each character offering different viewpoints on every individual character, this is something immensely difficult for a writer to accomplish successfully, but it's achieved here almost effortlessly.

It's a brilliant ambitious piece of work, and I will look out for the next collection.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Apr 16, 2012 6:32 PM BST

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