I used to live in Brighton, East Sussex and so I know it well and yet I am glad that I did not know the Brighton Mark Peterson depicts in this debut. I do, however, recognise it. It’s as if the murky, grimy, edgy location of Graham Greene’s 1938 classic novel has been brought up to date. This is Pinkie’s Brighton for the 21st Century. It’s not a place that I would like to live in. I can’t imagine this book being on the top of the local Tourist Board’s reading list. Peterson even makes the penthouse suite of the Van Alen building, one of the city’s most prestigious addresses seem seedy. This, however, allows the author to offer up a powerful crime novel. It is the first of a series featuring the damaged DS Minter and I am certainly going to be adding the follow-up (A Place Of Blood And Bone- 2013) to my to-be-read list. Fans of Peter James will lap this one up (in fact it looks more like a Peter James than it reads like one, so the publishers are obviously angling for this market). Kemptown’s Serious Crime Squad are attempting to bust a drugs ring before rival gang tensions get out of hand. It is involving and gripping. Reading groups looking to see how an author sets up a crime series should consider this. It’s a thumbs-up from me and I am keen to see what happens to those loose ends Peterson purposely leaves dangling.
(This review has previously appeared on the New Books website)