When homeless veteran Jimmy thinks he witnesses a murder in Newcastle, the police refuse to believe him. He’s not quite sure he believes his own eyes. Then he sees missing persons posters matching the description of the man he saw killed, and he realises he wasn’t mistaken. But how do you catch a killer when nobody believes a murder has been committed?
Together Jimmy and the dead man’s daughter decide to take matters into their own hands and hunt down the murderer themselves. They soon realise it will be a far more dangerous task than they could ever imagine.
But Jimmy has one big advantage: when you’ve got nothing, you’ve got nothing to lose.
Recent winner of the CWA John Creasey (New Blood) Dagger award, Trevor Wood’s The Man On the Street had been on my radar for a while. Then it went and won an award, I was between books and before I knew what had happened, I found myself clicking ‘buy it now’ and a copy arrived on my Kindle.
Nowt like winning an award to boost sales! I polished the book off in two sittings, and it was easy to see why it won. In a market saturated with grizzled detectives (often with an interesting past and a quirk or two), having a homeless veteran as the lead felt distinctly fresh and immediately interesting.
But a story doesn’t live on a main character alone, and The Man On The Street has a great cast, and a fantastic location (ok, I might be biased as I’m from Newcastle orginally!). I loved following Jimmy around the city as he investigated the suspected murder. Newcastle has a very distinct feel and atmosphere to it, and Trevor Wood captures it brilliantly.
Jimmy Mullen is a great character too, with a real depth and complexity to him. A veteran of the Falklands War, his flashbacks to his time in the Navy are raw and often brutal. Indeed all the flashbacks to his life leading up to the time of the story just make you want to root for him all the more.
It’s a dark, gritty story which has a real authenticity to it. Do yourself a favour and pick up a copy now.
The Man on the Street by Trevor Wood is published by Quercus and is out now.
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