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  • Writer's pictureIan Ayris

SOUND OF THE SINNERS by Nick Quantrill - a review

The Blurb

In SOUND OF THE SINNERS we find Joe Geraghty leaving his new home in Amsterdam to attend the funeral of his former business partner and mentor Don Ridley who was found dead shortly after asking for Geraghty’s help.

With a heavy heart and weighed down with guilt, Joe returns to Hull, a city he thought was in his past.

Don’s death points to his days with the police and an off-the-books investigation into the unsolved ‘Car Boot Murder’ decades previously. As Geraghty investigates the circumstances of his friend’s death he uncovers dangerous secrets and a conspiracy of silence - Hull might have had a makeover during Joe’s absence, but clearly some things never change in the northern sea-port.

With his own life on the line, and with a debt of honour to be repaid, Joe is unable to stop in his quest for the truth, but powerful people with vested interests will always seek to ensure some stories never see the light of day.

The First Paragraph

'The crematorium door creaked as I closed it behind me, mourners turning to glance in my direction, the service already underway. My flight into Humberside Airport from Amsterdam had been delayed, Marieke dropping me off at the airport with a promise to pick me up tomorrow. Taking a seat at the rear, it was the larger of the two chapels, a crude measurement of someone's final tally of friends and family.'

The Review

There are not many authors whose books I pre-order. Nick Quantrill is one. And when I heard his latest would be the long awaited (seven bloody years) fourth Joe Geraghty novel, I was clearing a space on my bookshelf three months in advance.

In Sound of the Sinners we find private eye Joe returned to his native Hull - location wonderfully rendered, almost a character in the book itself - for the funeral of ex-copper, mentor and friend, Don. Don’s death has been written off as a tragic accident, though Joe thinks there is more to it. And Joe, being Joe, won’t stop until he discovers the truth - a truth buried in a thirty year old unsolved murder.

Now, Joe is not Sherlock Holmes. He hasn’t got the great detectives incredible powers of observation and faultless deduction. Mind you, neither does he have a silly hat or a coke habit. Joe is also a million miles away from the wise-cracking, gun toting Philip Marlowe. As for comparing the Joe and Marlowe’s way with the ladies, that isn’t a conversation even worth having.

In short, Joe is an everyman. Joe is you, and Joe is me. And as I followed him through the pages of this book as he peeled back the veneer of local politicians and corrupt coppers, followed the clues that would lead to the truth of what really happened thirty years ago, and what part Don played in it all, I found myself making the same choices Joe made, making the same mistakes, taking the beatings (and there are lots of those), feeling the same confusion, the same pain. Joe Geraghty might not be a Holmes or a Marlowe, but what he does have is an incredible, unwavering, unshakeable desire for the truth.

Sound of the Sinners is perhaps the best book to date in the brilliant Joe Geraghty series. Each book in the series works effectively as a standalone, although I’d recommend you read them all in order to get a sense of the back story to The Sound of the Sinners.

The entire Joe Geraghty series of books is available in paperback and on Kindle direct from Faherenheit Press here

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