Tuesday 6 November 2018



There are three sides to every murder- yours, mine and the truth.

The Sidewinder is the new multi narrative mystery thriller from Northern Irish Amazon Bestseller Simon Maltman.

When two members of a former nineties band die in suspicious circumstances, the surviving members are embroiled in a web of murder, revenge, love and deceit. Follow the now politician, journalist, session musician and police officer as they attempt to uncover the truth, through many dark twists and turns. Nothing is as it appears in The Sidewinder.

Recent Press:

“Lean, mean, fast and furious.”

Gerard Brennan

“What Raymond Chandler was to L.A, Maltman is to Belfast, a novelist with an eye for the seedy underbelly of a city.”


Belfast, a suspicious death, and a few unlikable characters from a retired rock band circling each other, some trying to find the truth and one attempting to conceal it.

Dark secrets, slights and grudges held onto, siblings, marital issues, workplace competition, journalism, police work, lying to family, stress leave and days out in the countryside, infidelity, suspicion, a political career, a funeral, an investigation, plenty of bar-hopping and spliff smoking, an almost accidental murder - someone has anger issues, a musical history, almost success, a break-up, shadows from the past - a death in the family and a fall from a window, chickens coming home to roost.

Told in turn from alternate characters, neither of whom was particularly likable, only one of whom was actually detestable, but capable of showing a respectable public face. I really liked it. I do like an Irish setting as well and as I haven't been to Belfast, I was happy to take the tour with Maltman's characters.

Tense in places, a dark turn near the end, darker actually - dark would cover some of the secrets revealed to us earlier during the narration of our character's histories. A brutal and bloody climax. Here's one band that won't be reforming and supporting the Spice Girls on their upcoming tour.   

4 from 5

I've enjoyed Simon Maltman's work before - Bongo Fury and More Faces. I've a couple more on the pile still to get to.

Read in October, 2018
Published - 2018
Page count - 221
Source - review copy from author
Format - PDF file  


  1. I do like the rock band context here, Col. That's intriguing. And the plot seems to move nicely, too. Not sure the 'bloody and brutal' part of it's for me, but I can see how some of this would appeal to me. Glad you enjoyed it.

    1. Margot, I think there are a lot of elements in this tale that you would like. It's a violent confrontation at the climax, but not especially gratuitous in my opinion.

  2. Thanks for putting this on my radar. I'm a bit of a sucker for rock-oriented mysteries.

    1. No problem, I'm trying to think of any others I may have read.

    2. I loved Espedair Street by Iain Banks- it's a really cool rock-related one.

    3. Simon thanks for the tip-off. I'm not sure if I have that Banks book or not.

    4. I haven't read any of his stuff for a while but he used to be one of my favourites.

    5. Just checked, Espedair Street is on the pile! Only other thing I've read from him is The Wasp Factory.

  3. This one sounds intriguing, Col. Thanks.

  4. Like the sound of that setup, I'm another one who is a sucker for rock band books! There's one in the early works of Jane Smiley, of all people...