Atmospheric and punchy, Heartman showcases an exciting new voice in the genre.
Bristol in the early 1960s: Joseph Tremaine Ellington is a Barbadian ex-policeman who, like many of his generation in the West Indies, has come to the UK to make a new life in the mother country. But the land of opportunity is not all it is cut out to be. It is not just the weather that is cold: so is the welcome. Facing hostility and prejudice at every turn, Ellington struggles to make ends meet.
But then he meets community bigwig Earl Linney, a man with a finger in every pie, who has made good in the white man's world. Earl needs help in finding Stella Hopkins, a young West Indian woman who has disappeared. Earl does not want go to the police, so he asks Ellington to track her down. With few allies other than his not-so-honest cousin Victor, Ellington has to keep his wits about him.
This is an atmospheric, confident debut: Devil in a Blue Dress meets Chinatown set in the rough world of Bristol nightlife, in the pubs, shebeens and nightclubs that are the haunts of prostitutes and criminals, places where danger lurks around every corner.
"This is a newcomer bursting with life and originality...bringing outstanding pace and suspense to this powerful story." (The Independent)
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