Nicholas (nwhyte) wrote,

The Prisoner of Brenda, by [Colin] Bateman

Second paragraph of third chapter:
As we finally drove away, Alison, looking back at Jeff waving Page's little hand from the front door, had tears in her eyes. 'He looks so sad,' she said.
One of Bateman's mystery novels, set in Belfast, the protagonist being the proprietor of the No Alibis bookshop on Botanic Avenue, investigating the murder of a well-known gangster in the course of which he spends some time in Purdysburn, Belfast's mental hospital. I really enjoyed the sense of place; I think I could locate almost every scene on the map. I also enjoyed the effective way Bateman captures the black humour of Belfast. But the actual plot was too convoluted to be credible, and the ending (which apparently closes off the prospect of any more books in this four-book series) felt ungraceful and out of harmony with what had come before. I'm told that the earlier books in the series are better; I got this one signed by the author at a book fair in Brussels some years ago. You can get it here.

This was the non-genre book that had been on my unread shelf for longest. Next in that pile is Gallimaufry, a collection of short stories by Colin "Sixth Doctor" Baker.
Tags: bookblog 2020, world: northern ireland, writer: colin bateman, xd

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