Thank you to Trevor Wood and The Motherload Book Club for a signed copy of this debut novel. Many apologies for the delay in reading and reviewing.
It started with a splash. Jimmy, a homeless veteran grappling with PTSD, did his best to pretend he hadn’t heard it – the sound of something heavy falling into the Tyne at the height of an argument between two men on the riverbank. Not his fight.
Then he sees the headline: GIRL IN MISSING DAD PLEA. The girl, Carrie, reminds him of someone he lost, and this makes his mind up: it’s time to stop hiding from his past. But telling Carrie, what he heard – or thought he heard – turns out to be just the beginning of the story.
The police don’t believe him, but Carrie is adamant that something awful has happened to her dad and Jimmy agrees to help her, putting himself at risk from enemies old and new.
But Jimmy has one big advantage: when you’ve got nothing, you’ve got nothing to lose.
Having found my copy of the book on my book trolley on Sunday afternoon, I curled up with the book and a hot drink. I quickly became hooked into the story of Jimmy Mullen, and didn’t want to put the book down.
Jimmy has had a troubled life, and we slowly find out about his past as the story proceeds. We quickly learn that he was sent to prison but it takes a long time to find out why he was in prison for so long.
Despite his violent history, I quickly wanted Jimmy to succeed in his quest to help Carrie find out what had happened to her father and to move forwards with his life.
The book is fast paced, well written and deserving of the many awards it has won (WINNER OF THE CWA JOHN CREASEY DAGGER AND OF THE SPECSAVERS DEBUT CRIME NOVEL AWARD. A THEAKSTON’S NEW BLOOD AUTHOR FOR 2020 AND SHORTLISTED FOR THE THEAKSTON’S OLD PECULIER CRIME NOVEL OF THE YEAR AWARD).
This is a gritty story, looking at the damage caused by traumatic life events, incarceration, regret and homelessness. However it is also full of emotion, friendship, caring for Dog and hope for the future. And a murder mystery to solve.
I devoured this book over two days and I enjoyed it so much I bought the sequel, One Way Street on my Kindle and read it straight away (I’ll share my mini review next weekend). I now have to wait until 2022 for book 3 in the series, Dead End Street.
Author Bio (from Amazon):
Trevor Wood has lived in Newcastle for 25 years and considers himself an adopted Geordie, though he still can’t speak the language. He’s a successful playwright who has also worked as a journalist and spin-doctor for the City Council. Prior to that he served in the Royal Navy for 16 years joining, presciently, as a Writer.
Trevor holds an MA in Creative Writing (Crime Fiction) from UEA. His first novel, The Man on the Street, won the CWA John Creasey (New Blood) Dagger, the Crimefest Specsavers Best Crime Debut Award and has been shortlisted for the Theakston’s Old Peculier Crime Novel of the Year. His second, One Way Street, is now out in hardback, e-book and audiobook. He is represented by Oli Munson at AM Heath.