Friday 22 December 2017

Book review : Kiss Me Quick - Danny Miller

I love crime fiction and, as a born-and-bred Sussex girl, I couldn't resist the lure of a crime novel set in Brighton, even if the setting was the Brighton of the 1960's, just a bit before my time. It deals more with the seedy underworld of Brighton than the seafront and town centre that I know and love, but there were enough mentions of local places that I recognised to keep me happy, especially as there was even a mention of the Mods and Rockers kicking off in my home town of Hastings.

The story is the classic tale of a good cop trying to solve a crime and flush out not just the criminals but also the corrupt cops in on the job. Vince Threadwell is slightly more multi-faceted than the typical whiter-than-white detective though - his drug-dealing brother and developing relationship with gangster's moll, the sultry but vulnerable Bobby LaVita, lead him into murky waters. Even more complicated is his memory loss after a head injury sustained on a police raid in a private Soho club with a squalid cinema showing sickening snuff movies - movies, and indeed a cinema, which had ceased to exist once Vince woke up in hospital with a fractured skull. Was it all a figment of his imagination or had he unwittingly become part of a cover up ?

Sent down to the Sussex coast to recuperate (or to get him out of the way?), Vince stumbles into more trouble, kicking up a hornets' nest involving some really nasty pieces of work, including links to the Corsican mafia. I did find the villains to be slightly caricatural - they reminded me of Cruella De Vil's henchmen at times ! - and I was disappointed with the big reveal linking certain characters together at the end, which all seemed a bit too depraved and improbable, even within the story. There are lots of violent, gory scenes in the book, which don't particularly bother me (in literary form, not in real life, I hasten to add !) but I do find descriptions of people having their eyes gouged out particularly unpleasant and there seemed to be an awful lot of eye-stabbing going on in this book !

I found the first half quite sluggish, but it did pick up towards the end. Ultimately I found it to be a bit like a stick of Brighton Rock though - I got fed up of chomping through it before I'd even reached the middle !

star rating : 3.5/5

RRP : £6.99 

  • Paperback: 384 pages
  • Publisher: C & R Crime; Re-issue edition (3 Mar. 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1849015163
  • ISBN-13: 978-1849015165


  1. Hmmm not sure I will rush out to get this!

  2. This sounds scary but very interesting. I think I would like it!


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