Steven Mason, a young career villain, needs to find his boss's girlfriend Dominique. Straightaway, he knows things are not going to be easy when he finds a dead hand in Mickey Finn's old fridge.
So begins a series of encounters: St Mary with a limp wrist; Dominique's husband Texas - a semi-retired gigolo; his vicious brother Greg; rent boys; a psychiatrist and a corrupt detective.
As Steven realises he's uncovering a bitter dispute between two gangs, so division and betrayal make him hunter and hunted. He will need to decide whom he can trust, torn between his loyalties and his attraction to his friend's girlfriend ... not to mention what the outcome will be with a caged parrot.
An enjoyable fast-paced, slice of Brit Grit taking place in the wilds of Essex and London. Steven Mason gets caught in the middle of a family feud, which is particularly irritating for him because it's his family.
A missing women, a severed limb, and a mission to find the rest of the woman, only he's not the only one interested in the piece of flesh hidden in a fridge, conflict, beatings, the opposite of brotherly love, a secretive doped out friend, his alluring girlfriend, suspicious neighbours, his jail bird dad, his 'grandad' boss, secrets, people trafficking, a dodgy cop, a boat trip, a helpful Pole - assuming he can be trusted and the prize - a stash to end all stashes.
Busy, violent, funny, dark, and a bit quirky. I liked the main character, Steven. He tries to do right by himself, while not setting out to hurt others. He'll make an exception where his brother and Mickey Finn are concerned though. His loyalty isn't always repaid.
Best book ever? No, but enough to keep me invested and interested in how things were going to turn out. Needless to say it doesn't work out well for everyone involved. Simon Marlowe writes well and kept me turning the pages.
4 from 5
The Dead Hand of Dominique is author Simon Marlowe's second novel. Zombie Park was his first.
Read - February, 2022
Published - 2021
Page count - 284
Source - review copy from author
Format - Paperback