Quercus Books March 19th (Hardback)
As Newcastle cleans up its streets for the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee, homeless veteran Jimmy Mullen witnesses a crime committed in the dead of night. Years of living on the streets and a long stretch in prison have taught him to keep his head down, to stay out of other people’s fights. But when he sees an appeal made by the victim’s daughter, the memories of his own shattered home life flood back.
When he comes forward as a witness, the police aren’t interested. As he seeks to find out the truth of that night and with his own past catching up with him, Jimmy is forced to play a deadly game of hide and seek in the city’s darkest corners.
Meet Jimmy, a rough diamond, a veteran of war whose life fell apart as a result of things he witnessed while serving his country. Now destitute and living on the streets but still a good sort with a strong moral compass. He keeps his head down, life has taught him that and while no one would describe his life as great he muddles through. Until that night when he witnesses something, he does nothing but his conscience niggles until he is compelled to act.
What follows is two vigilante investigators as Jimmy pairs up with Carrie the missing man’s daughter, dismissed by the police due to lack of evidence and an unreliable witness in Jimmy, the pair find themselves becoming embroiled in a crime mystery.
This is a very decent debut novel and the author creates a strong back story for Jimmy which unfolds throughout the book. At first I thought he would be a ‘Geordie Jack Reacher,’ both homeless ex service men but actually the similarities ended there. Jimmy is a Newcastle chap with a network and a history there. The plot was strong and interacted well with the backstory, plus it felt authentic, everything was tied up at the end, which I like in crime fiction. The chapters were short, again a positive feature for crime fiction which serves I think to create and maintain pace in the story. The story was told in the present but also with chapters detailing Jimmy’s past, this worked for me as I am a fan of the then and now format. Told in the third person this reads well as crime fiction, needless to say I didn’t work it out, I never do, but it was a book I liked and would recommend.
About the Author
Trevor Wood has lived in Newcastle for twenty-five years and considers himself an adopted Geordie. He’s a successful playwright who has also worked as a journalist and spin-doctor for the City Council. Prior to that he served in the Royal Navy for sixteen years. Trevor holds an MA in Creative Writing (Crime Fiction) from UAE. The Man on the Street is his first novel.
This is a Social Media Blast celebrating the publication of this book earlier this week. Special thanks to Ella Patel at Quercus Books for sending me a finished hardback copy of the book. Lots of people are talking about this book right now, you can see who is taking part in the Social Media Blast below and check out what they are saying.