When a rare book bound in human skin goes missing the prestigious University it belongs to is unwilling to risk bad publicity by calling in the police and so turn to ex-con turned private investigator Charlie "Bars" Constantinou. He finds himself plunged into the murky world of book theft, femme fatales that are literally all fur coat and no knickers, pitiless thugs and the chance to make himself some money. Just what is the secret of the Book of Skin...
Another Benedict Jones – Charlie Bars offering – The Book of Skin and another great short piece at 26 or 27 pages long. Plenty of depth and substance to it.
Charlie is looking into the disappearance of a £10k rare book, bound in human skin from a university. Subject of said missing tome – a 19th century study of sex magic!
Great dialogue, great one liners – on his way out of the uni, Charlie spots a security guard he knows….
“Money’s good and I might get to smack a student in the mouth.”
He grins at me. Always did have an aversion to learning.
With more valuable books left alone and after an inventory check some more on a similar subject matter also missing; Charlie has an inkling on the reason for the theft, and a possible suspect.
There’s some steamy sex with another employee of the university and after a second round of frolics, Charlie sustains a beating. His sex partner having set him up - The Book of Skin is in demand. Persons unknown want to get their hands on it.
Following up on our hunch, Charlie has a bruising encounter with a frustrated spinster and her sturdy rubber sex toy. He’s solved the case and recovered the goods.
However a final twist still hits us, as Constantinou is forced to display a certain amount of pragmatism in the face of a threat to his mum. Our avaricious collector is determined to have the book at any cost.
The Book of Skin has a new home.
Top story, superb characters, plenty of action and dialogue.
Charlie Bars has a certain rogue-like, wide-boy quality that makes him excellent company and one of the most interesting series characters I have read about in the past few months. Street smart and loyal, definitely a man you would want on your side.
4.5 from 5.
Benedict J. Jones – Skewered and other London Cruelties was recently enjoyed. Review here.
You can catch up with the author at his website here. On Facebook here and he’s on Twitter - @benedictjjones
The Book of Skin was recently downloaded from Smashwords for free. Link here. Check it out while you still can.