A Numbers Game – RJ Dark

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One dead man and a missing lottery ticket.

Two family members who need that money to get away from the rundown Blades Edge estate.

Three local gangsters who want that money for themselves.

Meet Malachite Jones – the foremost (and only) psychic medium on the gritty Blades Edge estate. All he wants are two things: a name that isn’t ‘Malachite’, and a quiet life. And maybe some real psychic powers, but he’s making a living without them.

Janine Stanbeck wants to find her dead husband Larry’s winning ticket and escape Blades Edge with her son. And she thinks Mal can help her.

But Larry’s dad is the crime lord of the estate, and he wants that ticket for himself, and worse for Mal, he’s not the only criminal with his eyes on it. Add in two coppers desperate to nick Mal’s best, only, and admittedly quite dangerous, friend, Jackie Singh Kattar, and Blades Edge is getting pretty crowded.

Malachite Jones might not really be able to talk to the dead, but if he and his friend Jackie Singh Kattar can’t find that money and a solution that pleases everyone they’re likely to be in need of a psychic medium themselves.

So, what have we here? A crime novel set on a sprawling, gritty estate in Yorkshire, with a psychic medium on the hunt for a lost lottery ticket worth quite a lot of money. And a series of other unsavoury characters who want the ticket for themselves, and are not afraid to let Malachite Jones know exactly how much they’re willing to hurt him if he doesn’t hand it over.

I read a lot of crime books. So do you, probably. But it’s refreshing to find one that manages to combine a lovely dark, twisty plot with a healthy dose of humour. I loved Mal and Jackie, the two leads with their long history and tenuous ‘friendship’.

The week started unseasonably warm for spring, and with my best friend sitting on top of me, threatening violence. From there it only went downhill.

Malachite Jones – ‘psychic’ medium (ably, if reluctantly, assisted by his assistant Beryl, who knows everyone and everything going on on the Blades Edge estate). Jackie Singh Kattar, respected businessman (just don’t ask what business, or you’ll find out he’s made you his business), sharp dresser and with a nice little line in motors. Best friends. And boy, do you want Jackie on your side.

But it’s not just them – the supporting cast is also brilliant – Trolley Mick Stanbeck and his dim (but wanting to improve themselves) sons. The Russians. The dodgy coppers (one of whom Jackie assures Mal she fancies him)

It’s just a joy from the first page to the end. Do yourself a favour, grab a copy for your kindle (ebook only at the moment) and settle down with a brew. Malachite Jones and his best friend Jackie Singh Kattar are about to become your new favourite duo.

Highly recommended.

A Numbers Game by RJ Dark is published by Wavesback, and is out now.

You can buy a copy from Amazon here

Author: dave

Book reviewer, occasional writer, photographer, coffee-lover, cyclist, spoon carver and stationery geek.

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