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Friday 24 February 2017

‘Dark Side of the Moon’ by Les Wood

Published by Freight Books,
3 October 2016.

Boddice, a Glasgow crime lord, is feeling the pinch – his local pond is now full of much bigger fish and, though he is still sufficiently feared and loathed to command respect, he is no longer one of the local movers and shakers.  So he comes up with a Plan, something that would put him into an altogether different league, one which the newcomers on the block wouldn’t dream of touching.  This will be his final act and will fund his retirement.

He selects his gang from the professional hard men who work for him, offering them the promise of great wealth if they join him or serious grief if they don’t.  The ill-assorted and ill-equipped men are in no position to refuse:  Prentice and Kyle are really hard men, willing to kill on Boddice’s order, though Prentice is starting to want to get out.  Boag, an ex-serviceman gets work from Boddice because of his father’s long and loyal service.  The Twins, a particularly important part of the Plan, run a tattoo parlour, but their main source of income is letting their business be used for laundering Boddice’s illegal profits.  Leggett is not popular with any of his colleagues, and falls from favour when Boddice realises he is taking an unauthorised cut from profits.  Each of this ill-matched group has a part to play in the Big Plan, the theft of the famous diamond known as the Dark Side of the Moon, which is to be displayed in a Glasgow department store. 

This is a fast-moving, high-pitched novel.  The characters are well-written and, despite being largely unlikeable, there are moments when the reader’s sympathy is engaged.  The humour is black, the dialogue sharp and the finale spectacular.  This debut novel will gain the author many fans.
Reviewer:  Jo Hesslewood

Les Wood's writing has been widely anthologised. He has a Masters in creative writing from the University of Glasgow and a doctorate in Physiotherapy. Les teaches as Glasgow Caledonian University.

Jo Hesslewood.  Crime fiction has been my favourite reading material since as a teenager I first spotted Agatha Christie on the library bookshelves.  For twenty-five years the commute to and from London provided plenty of reading time.  I am fortunate to live in Cambridge, where my local crime fiction book club, Crimecrackers, meets at Heffers Bookshop .  I enjoy attending crime fiction events and currently organise events for the Margery Allingham Society.

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