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Amphetamines and Pearls by John Harvey

Amphetamines and Pearls

by John Harvey

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Ex-cop turned P.I., Scott Mitchell finds singer and ex-girlfriend Candi cater shot dead in her flat. Candi's sister hires Mitchell to find the killer; then he's also offered a well paid missing person case.
This is familiar hard-boiled crime fiction territory, which Harvey readily acknowledges by making reference to The Big Sleep and The Maltese Falcon.
Like his later crime novels, featuring Charlie Resnick, the setting is Nottingham and London, but this short novel wastes little time on setting or characterization. Mitchell is a tough-talking, hard-drinking, question with menace detective.
Harvey uses the phrase 'paperback fiction' on his site to describe the many books he wrote, under numerous pseudonyms, before 1989. In America they'd perhaps say pulp fiction or dime novel.
This is the first of eight Scott Mitchell novels wriiten in 1970's and 80's. I found it enjoyable enough to try the second book. ( )
  si | Nov 14, 2011 |
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This book is for Leanne and Tom with all my love.
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The streets wound their way listlessly, as though they had made the journey too many times.
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Scott Mitchell, Britain's toughest private eye, takes on a case for an old friend and falls backward into a grisly murder. When Scott Mitchell loved Candi Carter, her name was just plain Ann. Back then she was a hippie, playing tambourine in some no-name band. Now she's the most famous singer in Britain, and she has plans to conquer America next-but first she needs her old friend's help. And when the famed songbird asks Mitchell to come down to her house in Nottingham, he can't refuse, even though the sound of her voice makes him feel like his heart is breaking all over again. He pulls himself out of an alcoholic haze, takes the train from London, and stumbles right into a murder scene. Mitchell finds Carter dead in her living room, a trickle of blood coming from her mouth and a bullet in her chest. Her body is still warm. But before he can get out of there, he's blackjacked, and when he comes to, he's picked up by a pair of cops who beat him senseless and drag him to the nearest cell. Mitchell is having a hell of a day-and things will only get worse from here. First published in 1976, this is the debut novel of John Harvey, who would go on to create the legendary hardboiled Charlie Resnick Mysteries. Harvey's first crack at transplanting the kind of tough-talking American PI of Raymond Chandler and John D. MacDonald to the United Kingdom works beautifully. Scott Mitchell isn't just the toughest detective in Britain-he's also the best. Amphetamines and Pearls is the first book in the Scott Mitchell Mysteries, but you may enjoy reading the series in any order.… (more)

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