Gumshoe by Paul D. Brazill

I enjoy reading crime noir but a lot of the stories I enjoy have a distinctly American voice. Mr Brazill manages to get that same feel with a obviously British feel. A lot of  Brazill’s stories are set in the fictional seaside town in the north east of England called Seatown. I grew up in the south east near the coast and I recognized every single character. I’ve never met a detective but I do know people that have been asked to do some of the dubious tasks undertaken by Peter Ord.  Some of the phrases in this book I haven’t heard for years. To say it is written in the vernacular would be to raise it a few levels.  The setting of Seatown and the language used set a scene so vivid I could be hear and picture every character.

Peter Ord used to be an English teacher with a gorgeous wife. He lost both. Now he’s a degenerate drunk with aspirations to be a private detective. Unfortunately for him the only people desperate enough to hire somebody like him usually want services that are not exactly moral or legal in a lot of cases. Ord doesn’t care. As long as he can get another drink he’s content. I don’t think Ord does happy. If he won the lotto he’d piss it away in a year and die of liver failure. I was rooting for him even though I was pretty sure things were going to go badly. The ending was a bit of a surprise for me but had a certain karmic touch.

If you want some down and dirty crime noir with a uniquely British twist then you need to buy this book. I can also recommend listening to Seasick Steve whilst reading it.


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