Saturday, 20 August 2011

THRILLER REVIEW: The Day Aberystwyth Stood Still - Malcolm Pryce

Release Date: 01/08/11


It is May in Aberystwyth, and the mayoral election campaign - culminating in the traditional boxing match between candidates - is underway. Sospan the ice-cream seller waits in his hut for souls brave enough to try his latest mind-expanding new flavour, and Louie Knight, Aberystwyth's only Private Detective, receives a visit from a mysterious stranger called Raspiwtin asking him to track down a dead man. Twenty-five years ago Iestyn Probert was hanged for his part in the notorious raid on the Coliseum cinema, but shortly afterwards he was seen, apparently alive and well, boarding a bus to Aberaeron. Did he miraculously evade the hangman's noose? Or could there really be substance to the rumours that he was resuscitated by aliens? Now, as strange lights are spotted in the sky above Aberystwyth and a farmer claims to have had a close encounter with a lustful extraterrestrial, Iestyn Probert has been sighted once again. But what does Raspiwtin want with him? And why does Louie's investigation arouse unwelcome interest from a shadowy government body and a dark-suited man in a black 1947 Buick?


I love a story that is completely different to the myriad of books out there, so when I was recommended this title by staff at Bloomsbury I thought that it would be worth a shot if only to see what the only PI in Aberystwyth had to offer. The story is quirky, the lead character, Louie Knight even more so and all in a tale so fantastical and unlikely that it should have been a complete mess, but with so many things that could have been wrong it made something so right and I found myself loving every minute of the book.

Add to this a great sense of pace, cracking dialogue and a smart mouth that keeps the lead character in more trouble than he can really handle which made this such a satisfying read.

Whilst this was the sixth title in the series I didn’t feel that I’d missed out to this point and because of that its warm enveloping sense of humour and friendship really won me over. I really will be looking at picking up the other titles by Malcolm when time allows as this little gem really did bring a smile to my face throughout the read. Malcolm really is quirky, humorous with a Noir sense of darkness lurking the edges of his mind. Great stuff.

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