I had already read one book by Garrow, called ‘The Hounds of Hellerby Hall.’ I liked it so much, I decided to read another.
‘Death on a Dirty Afternoon’ is the story of Terry Bell, a taxi driver, who finds his friend Frank dead on his dining table. Together with Carol, the taxi company’s secretary, he tries to find out who did it. More murder happens, more mayhem.
The first thing you need to know is that Terry and the other characters talk with a Geordie accent. Even though I have never talked to someone with a Geordie accent, never been to the area, I found it easy to follow and it set the scene beautifully. Garrow does a great job setting scenes and building characters. You can just imagine yourself watching it all happen in front of your eyes.
The story is told by Terry himself and the insights to his thoughts are at times comical yet so humane. His relationship with Carol is one of the subplots that was interesting to follow. The tension builds up quickly and only goes up from there. What happens in the story is thrilling but on a realistic level. These characters are made of flesh and blood and there is no Hollywood-style over-the-top action. All of it could be true. There is no gore or sex in it (no matter how much Terry wants it :P), but it does have adult themes. The way Garrow describes it I think it is suitable for 16 and up. This is a story that you will want to read to the end. You’ll never suspect the twist.
Thumbs up to Colin Garrow to come up with such a witty, funny cabbie-turned-sleuth. I imagine plenty of interesting stories to follow and I can’t wait to read them.
You can find Garrow’s books here.