Edwards, Martin - 'Waterloo Sunset'
WATERLOO SUNSET by Martin Edwards is the eighth in a series of psychological thrillers featuring small firm Liverpool solicitor Harry Devlin, written ten years after the seventh in the series. (Martin Edwards has been occupied in the meantime with writing the Lake District series of crime books and editing various crime anthologies).
As the book opens, Harry is settling into his firm's new dockside offices, having been forced to move due to compulsory demolition of his old offices as part of the City of Culture regeneration plans. His peace is shattered when he receives a death announcement - of his own death in six days time, on Midsummer Eve. Unsure whether this is a serious threat or a prank, matters take a more serious turn when his business partner is viciously assaulted, and a friend of his falls victim to a serial killer, who is preying on young women. Harry's personal life also becomes more complicated; his former lover, gangster's moll Theresa May reappears in his life, with the looming shadow of her jealous and unscrupulous ex, at the same time as Harry starts to take a non-professional interest in the local coroner. As Midsummer Eve looms, the pressure mounts on Harry as he attempts to investigate both the death threat and his friend's murder, whilst keeping himself safe.
WATERLOO SUNSET is well-plotted and well written. Harry is an engaging and humane character and the other characters are sympathetically drawn, whether they are fellow professionals, gangsters, cleaners or lugubrious security men. The book is fast paced and witty, and Martin Edwards shows a keen sense of humour, placing a satirical gaze on Liverpool and its people. The city of Liverpool itself is also a character in this story. Martin Edwards provides a very realistic depiction of the superficial changes to the physical and financial landscape brought about by the City of Culture, whilst at heart human nature, and desires for money, sex and self-preservation ensure that not much has changed in the moral landscape. I look forward to reading the further adventures of Harry Devlin.
Laura Root, England