Posted 20 hours ago

Needless Alley: The critically acclaimed noir crime debut (William Garrett Novels)

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William's life changes when he meets the beautiful Clara Morton and falls in love. Little does he know she is the wife of a client - a leading fascist with a dangerous obsession. Soon, what should have been another straightforward job turns into something far more deadly. Very gritty, no punches are spared and the reader will need fortitude to get through the maelstrom of violence and anger that is unleashed. Very well, written, true to its setting and gripping to the very end.

Needless Alley by Natalie Marlow | Goodreads

When I think about Uk in the 30s I think about Miss Marple or Peter Wimsey, the Golden Age puzzles classic whodunit. For cost savings, you can change your plan at any time online in the “Settings & Account” section. If you’d like to retain your premium access and save 20%, you can opt to pay annually at the end of the trial. It starts with William a P.I. setting up rather sordid encounters with women so he can provide photographic evidence of infidelity for husbands who wish to divorce their wives but then turns into something much darker; pornography, BDSM, drug dealing, murder.Needless Alley gives us a rich and earthy insight into underbelly of mid-war Birmingham. I know the city well and I do love an early 20th century setting, so this was a good choice for me.

Needless Alley | Natalie Marlow | 9781399801836 | NetGalley Needless Alley | Natalie Marlow | 9781399801836 | NetGalley

The characters were really well written and I had no difficulty in envisaging them and feeling for them. William was a really good and believable main character. The best way to explain my feelings on this story is to compare it to others; not great practice, but I feel it works for this. Some stories have multiple perspectives (this doesn't but bear with me here), within which there may be one that you dislike reading. As such, you slog through the difficult chapter because the proverbial carrot is dangling over yonder and you'd like to reach it. This is irritating but fine- just view the big picture. There were some very challenging themes, including the tragic impact of WW1 on the young men who had fought and those left behind and bereaved, the sex and drugs industry, the rise of the British fascism movement and the effects of poverty running through it all. I was impressed with the authors knowledge and research that was obvious to the reader.I have only known Birmingham since the 1970's but a lot of the places and building mentioned still exist. I found it gripping, well plotted, and original. The author is a good storyteller and deliver a solid plot. Private enquiry agent William Garrett, a man damaged by a dark childhood spent on Birmingham's canals, specialises in facilitating divorces for the city's male elite. With the help of his best friend -charming, out-of-work actor Ronnie Edgerton - William sets up honey traps. But photographing unsuspecting women in flagrante plagues his conscience and William heaves up his guts with remorse after every job.

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