Dead Dames Don't Dance
'Other men’s minds would be over-heating by now but Denver’s was cool: he’d done this a hundred times before. The voices trailed away: dust particles danced in the glow of the few wall lights that still worked. It was too quiet. Something wrong, he knew it.'
What Mack Denver doesn't know is that many things are wrong. But how could he? He's a cool, tough PI in 1950’s Boston. Dave Newton, on the other hand, is a weary and accident-prone PI in a grimy Midland town. Mack's fictional adventures are Dave's obsession but Dave's reality includes stolen goods, bingo-halls, sinking boats, Moravian midgets and a client called Gumpett. But who are they and why has his world collided with theirs? Why did he take up her case? Why does it make him feel like the curled-up hedgehog on his business card? Will his SAS-trained secretary never let him enjoy a Mack Denver novel in peace? No, she won't. Because there are heinous crimes to solve and the name of Gumpett is at their centre, mocking him, drawing him on, dancing before his eyes in a way that Dead Dames never could.
Michael Thomas, novelist, poet and critic.
Published: 4 April 2014