As a founder member of Mystery Women in 1997, promoting Crime Fiction has always been my passion.
Following the closure of Mystery Women, a new group was formed on 30th January 2012 promoting crime fiction.
New reviews are posted daily, but to search for earlier reviews please click on the Mystery People link below and select 'reviews' from the welcome page. This will display an alphabetic option for you to find the review you would like to read
For PREVIOUS REVIEWS- Click on MYSTERY PEOPLE below -
Quercus, 31 October 2019. ISBN: 978-1-78747-836-7 (HB)
Just when you think you've encountered every kind of accidental sleuth
the crime writing fraternity can invent, along comes another you'd never
thought of, which knocks the entire concept out of the park.
Jimmy – he has a surname, but
never admits to it if he can help it – is a homeless man. Yes, that's right.
Jimmy is a veteran of the Falklands living rough on the streets of Newcastle.
He suffers from PTSD and is also an ex-con with convictions for GBH and murder.
Who on earth is going to believe that he witnessed a man being hit on the head
and thrown in the River Tyne? Especially when he has learned not to trust the
police, his mantra for survival has become not my fight, and he doesn't
tell anyone what he's seen for several weeks.
But someone does believe him.
Carrie's father has gone missing, and she puts out a call on social media, to
which Jimmy's mate Gadge introduces him. And suddenly Jimmy is involved,
whether he likes it or not.
The Man on the Street rapidly turns into one of those crime novels which is
much more than just a crime novel – proving something every crime fiction fan
knows: that you can do anything you like in a crime novel as long as there's
crime as well. Without appearing to preach at all, Trevor Wood creates an
almost filmic story of life on the streets – the joshing and abuse which mask
loyal friendship, the wide variety of backstories which brought homeless people
to where they are, the voluntary organizations which keep them alive and well.
Most of all, the attitude of the more fortunate towards them; the surprise at
the very idea that they might had once had responsible jobs, and even less
likely, might actually have feelings.
Wood has a sure hand with
characters, homeless and not; and the backdrop to his story is almost tactile,
so vividly evoked are the hidey-holes and secret places homeless people seek
out. The plot, too, is a satisfying tangle of corrupt police, money-grabbing
entrepreneurs and ordinary folk, some sympathetic, some rather less so. It all
ends well, of course, but along the way Jimmy is beaten up, shot at, accused of
murder and hardly ever believed or trusted: all in a day's unemployment to a
homeless person resigned to being almost invisible except when a scapegoat is
If something a little
different is your bag, this is the novel for you. And Trevor Wood is certainly
a talent to watch.
Reviewer: Lynne Patrick
Trevor Woodhas lived in Newcastle for 25 years and considers
himself an adopted Geordie, though he still can’t speak the language. He's a
successful playwright who has also worked as a journalist and spin-doctor for
the City Council. Prior to that he served in the Royal Navy for 16 years
joining, presciently, as a Writer. Trevor holds an MA in Creative Writing
(Crime Fiction) from UEA. His first novel, The Man on the Street, which is set
in his home city, will be published by Quercus in Spring 2020. He is
represented by Oli Munson at AM Heath.
Lynne Patrick has been a writer ever since she could pick up a pen,
and has enjoyed success with short stories, reviews and feature journalism, but
never, alas, with a novel. She crossed to the dark side to become a publisher
for a few years and is proud to have launched several careers which are now
burgeoning. She lives in Oxfordshire in a house groaning with books, about half
of them crime fiction.