The Black Peacock Club ** is a cross-genre thriller set among the criminal underclass of Thatcher’s Britain.
Much of the story unfolds in Brighton, a popular, if vaguely raffish south coast resort, legendary as a bolthole for those seeking a ‘dirty’ weekend.
And while David (‘D A’) Crossman’s fast-paced, often absorbing story offers plenty of sex and an absurd amount of coarse language, when I note that the denouement takes place against the background of the October 1984 IRA bombing of the Conservative Party Conference at the city’s Grand Hotel, readers will start to guess where a fraction of his complex plot leads.
The first half of Crossman’s story is slick and well-crafted but as the plot unfolds, it becomes slipshod and hackneyed by comparison. So while I did not lose interest, it became much more difficult to follow and then a chore to complete.
Further, while I acknowledge that all of the story’s characters are deeply unpleasant, I began to wonder why three of them are Jewish and one of those is gay. What sort of people did South African-born Crossman meet when he lived in Israel? No-one like I know. That’s for sure!
** The Black Peacock Club is available on Kindle @ $2.99 and in paperback @ $8.18.
© Natalie Wood (13 April 2017)