The Official Book Blurb
From the Bestselling author of A Chaser on the Rocks and More Faces, comes the noir novella series: Bongo Fury.
Follow Maltman’s new protagonist as he tries to balance a music shop, his paramilitary family, a newborn, a little drug dealing and a spot of private detection.
A black comedy from the fresh new voice in Northern Irish Crime Fiction.
This really is a case of short and sweet. And when I say sweet I mean in the ‘I really enjoyed it’ sense of the word rather than the fact that it is saccharin or nice. In this novella we meet Jimmy a small group of his family, friends and, how shall I put it, acquaintances, many of whom perhaps have dalliances on the wrong side of the law. When his friend Stevie asks him for a small favour, Jimmy has no idea how far out of hand it will soon get, but the chaos that ensures really does give a flavour of how this novella series is going to run.
I liked the character or Jimmy – the lad from the tough estate in Northern Ireland who is trying to make something of himself through his own little music shop – and I found that I warmed to him and Simon Maltman’s writing style very quickly. The story is told by Jimmy and his quite matter of fact and practical about life, if on occasion a little quick to react. We don’t see many of the other characters for long but they are a varied and original bunch who are very well observed and written. And yet they feel real. Believable.
I can’t say too much about the plot as this is a very short story – just 50 pages long – and anything I do say could possibly give away a key part of the puzzle. But this did engage from first page until last and I found myself sailing through it in no time. It really did help to have a central protagonist you could get behind. There is no real major violence in this novella. That’s not to say violence doesn’t occur but it is not gratuitous – more bar room brawl-esque. There is even one amusing segment in Jimmy’s shop involving a child’s ukulele. There is just a sense of the everyday rather than the fantastical about it, even down to the language chosen. Heck – Jimmy is a guy who takes time to feed his toddler and play with her and manage bed time. He is not some hardened gangland crim, making him even more likeable as a result. But above all, there is mystery and a little action at the heart of this story and I am curious to see how it all unfurls from here.
An enjoyable interlude and a great start to a new series. Can’t wait to read more.
My thanks to author Simon Maltman for the advance review copy of Bongo Fury. It is released today and can be purchased at the following retailers.