Needle Song by Russell Day ** Blog Tour Review**
Today we are featuring Russell Day's Needle Song on the blog. If you enjoy crime fiction, this could be one for you!
Spending the night with a beautiful woman would be a good alibi, if the body in the next room wasn't her husband.
Doc Slidesmith has a habit of knowing things he shouldn’t. He knows the woman Chris Rudjer meets online is married. He knows the adult fun she’s looking for is likely to be short lived. And when her husband’s killed, he knows Chris Rudjer didn’t do it.
Only trouble is the police disagree and no one wants to waste time investigating an open and shut case.
No one except Doc.
Using lies, blackmail and a loaded pack of Tarot cards, Doc sets about looking for the truth - but the more truth he finds, the less he thinks his friend is going to like it.
This is a crime novel with a distinctive tone. It feels relevant and up to date, partly because of the central figure of Doc Slidesmith who is not your everyday crime investigator. With a background in psychology, a tattoo shop and a pack of tarot cards, you come to see that his approach is going to catch people off balance. I particularly enjoyed it when he mapped out his thoughts and observations and talked his assistant, Yakky through them. You can see his line of logic and it is a reference back to the crime genre. He even has what he terms an 'Agatha Christie fetish' - wanting to know 'Why?' something happened as the key into solving a case.
Told from Yakky's perspective, you get to observe Doc Slidesmith in action and to listen in as they talk through the evidence and tease out the clues. Yakky is more interested in the 'How?' rather than the 'Why?' but is a good foil. There are several classic crime memes within the story, echoing Agatha Christie herself, none more so than the exposition towards the end. It is an interestingly put together story and well worth a read.
In short: Crime with an edge.
About the Author
Russell Day was born in 1966 and grew up in Harlesden, NW10 – a geographic region searching for an alibi. From an early age it was clear the only things he cared about were motorcycles, tattoos and writing. At a later stage he added family life to his list of interests and now lives with his wife and two children. He’s still in London, but has moved south of the river for the milder climate.
Although he only writes crime fiction Russ doesn’t consider his work restricted. ‘As long as there have been people there has been crime, as long as there are people there will be crime.’ That attitude leaves a lot of scope for settings and characters. One of the first short stories he had published, The Second Rat and the Automatic Nun, was a double-cross story set in a world where the church had taken over policing. In his first novel, Needle Song, an amateur detective employs logic, psychology and a loaded pack of tarot cards to investigate a death.
Russ often tells people he seldom smiles due to nerve damage, sustained when his jaw was broken. In fact, this is a total fabrication and his family will tell you he’s has always been a miserable bastard.
Thanks to Russell Day, Fahrenheit Press and Emma of Damppebbles Blog Tours for a copy of the book and a place on the tour.
Check out the rest of the tour!