Sunday 31 March 2019



Liza is at the end of her tether. The only way she can see out of her situation is to turn to her husband's ex-boss, the gangster Mr Suit, for help.

In doing so, she sets in motion a chain of events that will keep the reader on the edge of their seat from beginning to end.

The latest in the series of tremendous work from the author of DIRTY OLD TOWN (AND OTHER STORIES); IN LOCO PARENTIS; and SMOKE who is also the co-editor of volumes 1 and 2 of PULP INK.

'The prose is tight rope taut and the plotting first class. The central character of Liza is well drawn and the drip feed of her commentary about Archie’s feelings is brilliantly done. Mr Suit is suitably odious without straying in to cliché...‘Mr Suit’ is a tense and thrilling novella which deserves a place on your bookshelf.'

A read in one sitting novella, which without being the best book ever was entertaining enough and kept me amused Saturday afternoon while keeping one eye on the football scores.

Archie used to work for Mr Suit, before his involvement in a botched kidnapping saw him receive a bullet in the head, albeit accidentally from his boss - but not before he had managed to stash the quarter of a million ransom.

Archie wants out of his life, which in his locked-in state is understandable. Liza, his wife is thinking the same thing, but doesn't want to do the deed herself, so turns towards Mr Suit. Everyone's in agreement, until the angel of mercy arrives to do the deed, while Archie is in the middle of painstakingly communicating to Liza - by blinking out letters - the whereabouts of the ransom money. Events now take a very different course. 

Humour, violence, sex, ambition, plans, London setting, a canal trip, a family - not all of whom are reading from the same script and an outcome which maintains the status quo for one of our characters.

Engaging, entertaining, funny, never less than interesting. If I was being picky, I could maybe say the timing of one event was remarkably convenient in terms of the plot, but hey it didn't mar my enjoyment.

I do need to read more from Nigel Bird.


4 from 5

Read - March, 2019
Published - 2012
Page count - 82
Source - owned copy
Format - kindle


  1. That's an interesting premise for a story, Col. And I can see how that could lead in any number of directions. Sounds as though it has some interesting characters, too. I'm glad you enjoyed it.

    1. Thanks, Margot. It was a decent afternoon's reading with lots that I liked. I need to get my teeth into one of his longer works sometime soon.

  2. Have not read a novella for what must be 30 years. I read a lot of Nero Wolfe at that time and some stories were in that format. Now I think of a novella as any work of crime fiction under 200 pages.

    1. Bill, thanks for stopping by. I do like the novella as a format and I turn to them quite often in my reading. I think I set the bar a bit lower than you and tend to regard maybe 140 as the boundary and anything over as a novel. Thanks for the reminder of Nero Wolfe - I have yet to be introduced to him in my reading and ought to try at least one.

  3. Col, I haven't read a gritty and gripping crime novel or novella in several months. Anything less than 100 pages, to my mind, is always appealing.

    1. Prashant, when I approach the end of the month and my reading stats are below double digits, I can always rely on a novella or two to save the day!

  4. This is an unusual premise. Sounds good.

    1. It might be free on Amazon? I enjoyed it for sure.