Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Lost City by Jay Stringer

Title: Lost City
Author: Jay Stringer
Publisher: Thomas & Mercer
Pages: 314 Pages
Release Date: January 14, 2014

Eoin Miller’s day was going pretty well until he got the call from his boss. At first it seemed straight forward. A stoned john got rough with one of the hookers and she knifed him. Simple fix. Except Eoin knew the john and he wasn’t the violent type. Then another murder happens. Before long Eoin is in a race against time to protect himself and the crime family he works for. He uses the skills he learned when he was a cop to piece things together. The only question is can he get the answer before it is too late.

This novel is full of interesting and dark characters. The protagonist, Eoin Miller, is a half-Romani (Gypsy for those who don’t know the term they use for themselves) living in a modern world still loaded with prejudice against his father’s people. He was a police officer before he left the force and went to work for a crime family. The other characters are just as conflicted. Veronica Gaines runs the Gaines crime family, yet all the while she is trying to find a way to get the family free of its criminal enterprises. There is his ex-wife Laura. What is happening with their relationship? How does she fit in to all of this?

Lost City takes place in an area outside Birmingham, England. This is classic hard-boiled pulp fiction at its best. There is a surprise around every corner. Stringer keeps the reader guessing as to what will happen next. The pacing of the book is very quick. I found myself flying through the book. Now be warned, by its nature hard-boiled fiction has sex and violence. No one wears a white hat in this story.

Ever since Philip Marlow appeared in The Big Sleep hard-boiled detective stories have had a following. Years of reading these novels have taught me that while it is easy to write bad novels in this genre, it is very difficult to write good novels in this genre. Jay Stringer has managed to write a very good novel and I look forward to reading more Eoin Miller mysteries in the future.  This book is recommended for anyone who loves to sit down with a fast paced story full of twists and turns.

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