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Old Gold (An Eoin Miller Mystery) Paperback – July 24, 2012

3.9 out of 5 stars 64 customer reviews
Book 1 of 3 in the Eoin Miller Mystery Series

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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

A Black Country native, Jay Stringer was raised on pulp fiction, comic books, morgue humor, music, and films. He found inspiration for Old Gold in his UK homeland and the postindustrial region where he grew up. Currently living in Glasgow, he has been published in The Mammoth Book of Best British Crime, volumes 8 and 9, and considers his works to be pieces of “social pulp.” Alongside writing, Stringer has been a zookeeper, a bookseller, a video editor, and a call center lackey. Old Gold is his first novel.

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Product Details

  • Series: An Eoin Miller Mystery (Book 1)
  • Paperback: 240 pages
  • Publisher: Thomas & Mercer (July 24, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1612183387
  • ISBN-13: 978-1612183381
  • Product Dimensions: 5.4 x 0.8 x 8.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 9.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (64 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,508,449 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I'll note straight away that I did enjoy this book -- I'm just not inclined to rate items 4 or 5 stars unless I really enjoyed the book (too much rating inflation for reviews out here). I think 3 stars is a perfectly acceptable rating and this book I would even go 3.5 stars.

Eoin (a great first name, btw!) is a former cop in this UK-based mystery thriller, currently working as an investigator of sorts for a shady pair of brothers. He meets a woman, who ends up sleeping at his apartment, only to find her dead in the morning and he's apparently being framed. There are two main plotlines here: the effort to find the real murderer and motive and a sidebar investigation into the apparent disappearance of a political candidate's son.

Eoin is not a violent hero here, he doesn't use gun and isn't much of a fighter (he tends to get beaten a few times). He is thoughtful and motivated, however, and the author shapes him as somewhat of a lost soul. Both the plots are reasonably well developed and engaging. The characters are interesting (particularly with nicknames like Jellyfish) and blend into the storyline well. The setting is a UK town and there are references to football and local color, which makes a nice flavor to the story and doesnt' get in the way of the flow at all (you don't have to be a British native to understand!).

The book is a solid read with excellent value for the money.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Author Jay Stringer's Old Gold is a new look at an old theme: the likable anti-hero who finds himself caught in the middle between the sides of the law and the illegal, and of course there's a woman involved. But this one takes a few interesting twists and turns along the way, and there are a few surprises that will keep the reader guessing. It's a hard-boiled mystery that this reader enjoyed from a number of perspectives.

We begin by meeting Eoin Miller, a half-Romani former cop, and when he visits his favorite pub where he meets a beautiful but hard-drinking Mary, a woman who reminds him of Lauren Bacall. As they drink and talk, she tells him that someone is trying to kill her, which alerts him. They talk, and over a bottle Eoin explains that he finds people and things, following his blood:

"My dad is Romani. You know"--I paused before saying it--"a Gypsy?"

They leave the pub and head to his place. Out comes the inevitable bottle of wine and they make small talk, and then head upstairs to his bedroom. But Mary passes out, and Eoin heads back downstairs to sleep on his couch. When he wakes in the morning with a hangover, he goes back upstairs and finds still in his bed... except that she's dead, strangled by one of his own old work ties and with needle tracks in her arm.

Instead of going to his former colleagues with the police, he flees the scene of the murder, hiding out in a flat owned by the Mann brothers, but then he decides to find out who killed Mary. He knows that if he doesn't, he'll be the one framed for her murder. This is a rather crooked pair, and he's worked for them, but the Mann Brothers control part of the local drugs trade.
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Format: Paperback Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
This first novel starts out with a bang and the fire works don't stop until the end. For a first novel, it is very good. There are plot lines waiting in a queue for more plot lines to turn up and the characters are very noir. It reminded me a bit of Ken Bruen's work.

The story starts out with Eoin Miller, half gypsy, going home with a prostitute named Mary who tells him that someone wants to kill her. In the morning she is dead in his bed and he has a hang-over. While he is searching for Mary's killer, we find out that he used to be on the police force where his ex-wife still remains. Why he left the force is a bit of a mystery. Since leaving the force he works as a middleman for the Mann brothers, a drug operation. He gets jobs here and there, none of them lily white.

One of Eoin's jobs is to try to find the son of a police officer, Perry, who is running for local office. His college son has disappeared and Eoin accepts the task of finding him. What are Perry's secrets and why is he going to such lengths to hide them?

Eoin gets mixed up in the rival gangs of the middle country of England, not sure exactly where he stands on any particular issue. He keeps hearing his dad's voice which told him to run, and run fast.

The book has a sharp dialog and a lot of narrative. We get to know Eoin through his actions and conversations. This is definitely hard-boiled and not for the faint of heart. I think it's a good start for a new series.
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Format: Paperback Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
Old Gold by Jay Stringer is a fine first novel. The story centers around Eoin, a half-gypsy quasi-detective. The character of Eoin is definitely a highlight in the story. He is gritty, relatable, and totally believable. Because the story is told in first person monologue, the reader really gets inside Eoin's head. After a chance encounter and sleepover with a mysterious woman, Eoin wakes to find her lifeless body in his bed. That is where the adventure really begins. For a variety of reasons Eoin doesn't call the police and he undertakes the detective work himself.

While I enjoyed the story, I didn't love it. I think is totally due to personal preference. I prefer description over dialogue and this story was short on description and heavy on dialogue (almost to where it felt like a screenplay at times). For whatever reason I didn't feel overly connected to the story. Overall it was quite entertaining and well done for a first novel.
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