Reviewed by: Keith Nixon
Approximate word count: 15-20,000 words
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Darren Sant’s childhood was spent living between two large housing estates. The locations and characters provided the inspiration for Sant’s stories.
To learn more about the author visit his website.
After being made redundant the aptly named Potter decides to turn his hand to private investigation. After receiving several calls enquiring whether he really was a dick for hire, flame haired beauty Moonchild Burgess swishes into his office and he gets his first case.
As well as the Moonchild blackmail case Potter is quickly called upon to find a missing dog and to follow a 15 year old girl whose father thinks she’s getting herself into some trouble. Unfortunately the case is not as straightforward as it seems – Moonchild’s husband is a very shady and particularly nasty gangster. To cap it all a mystery man is trying to track Potter down.
I thoroughly enjoyed this novella. It’s a fun read that doesn’t take itself too seriously. On the other hand the story is well constructed, the prose bright and energetic. It’s well balanced and articulate rather than blunt and sarcastic.
The characters are strong, in particular the lead, PI Potter (Christian name not revealed and in itself a pun – the action is based in Stoke, which used to have a huge ceramic pottery industry) but supported by a cast of others who aid and abet the investigations he undertakes – Martin the barman, Dennis the chip shop owner (and landlord) and Simon the copper. It is Potter himself who narrates the story and we receive his sense of humour loud and clear.
The sharp, witty dialogue is used well to keep the humour and entertainment rolling.
The three investigative strands soon interlink and brings the tale to a conclusion with the bad guys getting their just desserts in a very satisfactory ending.
This is reputed to be the first in a series. I look forward to seeing the rest, hopefully in a longer format to fully develop Mr Potter.
British tongue in cheek humour.
Rating: ***** Five Stars