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Tuesday 3 October 2023

‘The Next To Die’ by Elliot Sweeney

Published by Wildfire,  
2 February 2023.
978-1-47229260-5 (HB)

Forty-three-year-old ex-policeman and now bartender Dylan Kasper, is still mourning the death of his daughter Rosie five years ago when she threw herself under a London tube train. One day while working out in a high class gym, he is propositioned by a young homosexual named Tommy. Although Kasper emphasises that he is straight, he agrees to meet for a drink and to his surprise they get on well together. However, it becomes clear that all is not well with Tommy.

Sometime later Kasper is devastated when news comes from an old colleague in the police force, that Tommy has committed suicide in exactly the same way as Kasper’s daughter. He feels he is partly to blame as he had told Tommy all about Rosie. But is it suicide, the police do not seem really interested. No way can he let this rest, he is determined to find out more, especially when Saul, Tommy’s father pays Kasper a retainer to look into his death. Little does he realise when he starts what extreme corruption he would uncover.

As he digs deeper, he finds a connection to a huge drugs dealing business and a nasty blackmailing racket involving gay men. Unbelievably this even involves Tommy’s sister, Harriet.

When word gets around about his investigations, the owner of a disreputable night club – Sick Mick, involved up to his neck, decides Kasper needs a firm message to leave well alone. As tough as he is Kasper is now really up against it, can he come out of this in one piece and nail the perpetrators? 

I thoroughly enjoyed this intriguing, involved book. Although dealing with very disturbing subjects, there is still a hint of humour, plus the narration is so descriptive the author brings every page to life.

Brilliantly written, I highly recommend it.
Reviewer: Tricia Chappell

Elliot F. Sweeney is a community psychiatric nurse. In 2018 he was awarded the HW Fisher Scholarship to attend the Curtis Brown Creative novel writing course, and he’s also been supported by Spread the Word through their London Writers Awards Scheme 2019 Cohort, and Hachette's Future Bookshelf scheme. He’s written for Alfred Hitchcock’s Mystery Magazine and Switchblade, amongst others.

Tricia Chappell. I have a great love of books and reading, especially crime and thrillers. I play the occasional game of golf (when I am not reading). My great love is cruising especially to far flung places, when there are long days at sea for plenty more reading! I am really enjoying reviewing books and have found lots of great new authors.

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