Thursday, May 5, 2011

Black Shadows, by Simon Swift

Black ShadowsPeople all around Errol Black are dying, and it is clear that his latest PI case is going to get him into a whole heap of trouble.  Before long, it becomes clear that no one is who they seem to be, everyone has dirty connections, and someone is holding on to a very expensive diamond.

First off, let me say I do not read a lot of noir style pulp fiction, so I am sure a lot of the beauty of this book is completely lost on me.  However, I do enjoy books set in the 30s and 40s, so in many ways, this book did appeal to me.  The setting was very thorough, I really felt as though I were watching an old Bogart movie as the story unfolded.

Character development was also done quite skillfully.  No one is who you think they are; however, the characters shed light on their true natures throughout the book.  I love that there are twists and turns all over the plot, it keeps things interesting.  If I more often read this type of novel, I would have been able to keep up with the plot a little better I think.  Lots of complexity that suspense and thriller readers will love.

If I have one critique, it is that the voice of the narrator, Errol Black, seemed to change in tiny ways.  Most of the time, he is a hard hitting American man in New York, but every now and then he uses some British slang that seemed to not mesh with his personality (words like flat instead of apartment, and knickers instead of panties).  And a couple of times, the future was referenced in a way that made me temporarily leave the 1940s setting.  But, again, these are tiny details.  All in all, a book that suspense, thriller, and noir readers will enjoy.

I received a review copy courtesy of the author.