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Fancy a trip to 1935 Soho? Look no further! Review: Vine Street by Dominic Nolan

Vine Street: 'Crime book of the month' THE TIMES by [Dominic Nolan]
SOHO, 1935.

A snarling, skull-cracking misanthrope, Geats marshals the grimy rabble according to his own elastic moral code.

The narrow alleys are brimming with jazz bars, bookies, blackshirts, ponces and tarts so when a body is found above the Windmill Club, detectives are content to dismiss the case as just another young woman who topped herself early.

But Geats – a good man prepared to be a bad one if it keeps the worst of them at bay – knows the dark seams of the city.

Working with his former partner, mercenary Flying Squad sergeant Mark Cassar, Geats obsessively dedicates himself to finding a warped killer – a decision that will reverberate for a lifetime and transform both men in ways they could never expect.

Happy Monday book folks and welcome to my review of Dominic Nolan’s newest publication Vine Street, which was published last Thursday in a variety of formats, including a beautiful hardback edition, by Headline! Thanks goes to the publisher, and Rosie Margesson for sending me a proof copy.

If you’ve been a reader of my blog for a while, you may be aware that I am a huge fan of Dominic Nolan’s Detective Abigail Boone series, from his debut novel I knew that Dominic a talent within the crime fiction genre. Vine Street hits that bookish nerve differently, it’s a few shades darker and Dominic’s ability to take his readers on a time travelling journey back to 1935 is spot on – the writing is atmospheric, which transports the reader to a time where London is filled with drabness, riffed with the brutality of crime and gripped with tensions where the police aren’t particular interested in the deaths, until an innocent is killed. We meet Sergeant Leon Geats, Mark Cassar and Willamina better known as Billie. A collection of characters who you can’t help but enjoy the company of, and definitely provides the core of the storyline, likeable characters who level one another out with their mutual ability to make snappy witty remarks will lighten the darker tone of the book.

During Vine Street, a case is about to be closed before a young woman kills herself and alerts suspicions again, and my gosh our characters are not going to stop until they untie the threads. I loved the brutality and complexity of this novel, I loved the attention to detail when it came to not only the setting but also language used, it added to the atmosphere, mixed with the audiobook narration, you can just imagine being a fly on the wall as the case unfolds. Dominic has Nolan has developed a smashing historical noir novel, one which skillfully echoes 1930s Soho, you can tell that he researched his chosen locations, crimes and police investigation procedures during the time. The way the book is split into five sections, for me, the first half allowed the foundations of the storyline to be built, a smoldering building of tension and suspense, as the storyline developed I found myself holding my breath more than once, the complexity and the ultimate wrap up of the novel was precise and really though about – there may have also been a tear from a certain reader (me!)

So, do yourself a favour and grab yourself a copy of Vine Street, for you or for that special bookworm in your life – you will not be disappointed!

Categories Book review

1 thought on “Fancy a trip to 1935 Soho? Look no further! Review: Vine Street by Dominic Nolan

  1. This sounds so good! I am off to investigate it further. Great review, Danielle.


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