Review: Gumshoe


Paul D. Brazill
Pulp Metal Fiction


Following the breakdown of his marriage, in a booze addled flash of inspiration, Peter Ord decides to become a private investigator. However, is Seatown ready for him? More to the point is he ready for the Seatown’s cast of ne’er do wells, gangsters and lunatics? Peter must tackle many challenging cases, including one involving a legless crooner, and when he comes under the radar of local crime lord Jack Martin, has he bitten off more than he can chew? With sidekicks like hack Bryn Laden failure is not an option it’s compulsory. – Darren Sant


I reviewed Brazill’s novella Guns of Brixton recently too; both show his trademark humour and inevitably ramshackle criminal capers mixed with violent shenanigans. Unlike the frantic pace of that London-based knot of intertwined stories, the northern setting of Gumshoe offers a more laconic pace which suits the humour even better and makes the stark failures a little more (dare I say it?) poignant. As Vic & Bob can tell you, Northern doesn’t always travel well down to the sunny climes. Their loss, because there’s much amusement here along with the noirish escapades. The adventures of this PI feel like they rolled out of a Tom Waits song — crime with the feel of a shaggy dog story, complete with running jokes. The world of Seatown feels so real enough that you’re sure you’ve walked those streets — and chances are you ran into Ord somewhere in a dark pub. He was the one in the corner in the suit beginning to fray, nursing a bad hangover and wondering how he got there. Buy him a drink. He needs it.

[reposted from A Knife & A Quill]