142 Wellington Place
by Tim Selvadurai
Author Reputation Press

"We followed her out in silence, carrying with us the sense of doom that pervades the minds of the living at the sight of the dead."

Sometimes big things come in small packages. This is a relatively short novel, but it is long on delight—assuming that delight can be found among lust, lies, and multiple deaths. The delight comes from the realization that crime capers can still be written intricately, articulately, and compellingly without the need for profanity-laced dialogue, explicit scenes of brutality, and muddled morality where even the heroes are occasionally heinous.

Set in England a year before the turbulent 1960s would usher in a world of radicalism, rebellion, and unceasingly raucous rock and roll, this tale of immorality, betrayal, and shocking death unfolds with a high degree of precision and admirable amounts of restraint. It involves a philanderer, his good friend, his aggrieved wife, prostitutes, police, blackmailers, housekeepers, and an apparent case of suicide that just might turn out to be murder. Along the way, readers are nudged, rather than dragged, into the bizarre events surrounding one man’s demise and the wake of misfortune it leaves behind. Before it’s all over, multiple suspects pile up, a courtroom drama ensues, and revelations come surprisingly to life.

Author Selvadurai displays a particular talent for capturing storytelling of an unfortunately bygone era. Writing in the first-person view of his protagonist, he realistically peels back the layers of his plot with a pace that neither lunges nor lingers, a style that feels wholly appropriate for the place and period in which it plays out, and a degree of subdued grace that has seemingly been abandoned by most of the current chroniclers of deadly deeds. This novel sports a capital “N” for nostalgia, and readers who appreciate that may well become followers of this artful author.

RECOMMENDED by the US Review

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