Sunday, 10 May 2020
PABLO D'STAIR - THIS LETTER TO NORMAN COURT (2011)
When petty crook Trevor English is offered two thousand dollars to deliver a letter across the country, the choice seems fairly simple - money up front, no way he can go wrong.
And when he finds himself in possession of correspondence several parties would pay to get their hands on, the choice seems even simpler - take what he can, while he can, from who he can... and disappear.
this letter to Norman Court is the first installment in Pablo D'Stair's five-novella Trevor English cycle.
Praise for the books by Pablo D'Stair:
"D'Stair is clearly a master. Likely Jean Patrick Manchette reincarnated... " - Matt Phillips, author of Countdown and The Bad Kind of Lucky
My second encounter with D'Stair's work in March and another interesting short novel following on from Man Standing Behind. This Letter to Norman Court introduces us to Trevor English, and is the first of five English books which will be republished by All Due Respect this year.
English is a small time thief and hustler. After lifting the wallet of a man, instead of getting his features rearranged, the victim offers English money to deliver a letter to his brother. With nothing better to do, English agrees to undertake the task.
Honesty is not an attribute English possesses an abundance of. He reads the letter and then hatches his own scheme to blackmail those connected to events revealed by the contents. We follow Trevor's every move and thought processes as he switches from one victim to the next. We witness his avarice and his accumulation of funds and we see the fall-out and destruction his actions has on those he manipulates.
Trevor is not a nice man, nor does he ever pretend to be. He is interesting company though. His actions are always self-serving and not always well thought out. There's no real remorse or any sign that he is unduly affected by the consequences of his behaviour, but somewhat surprisingly I didn't really dislike him. He does know his limitations. Despite enduring the loathing of one of his victims, he has a counter offer of murder for hire on the man who sets the events in the book in motion. A step too far for our man, or is it confirmation he's a coward?
There's an interesting outcome to the book. Trevor is reminded that he isn't the biggest fish in the pond, probably soemthing he knows only too well. Sometimes when you're swimming, you encounter a shark.
I'm quite looking forward to the second instalment - Mister Trot from Tin Street.
4.5 from 5
Read - March, 2020
Published - 2011 originally (2020 this edition)
Page count - 140
Source - review copy received from Chris at publishers, All Due Respect
Format - paperback