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Old Gold (An Eoin Miller Mystery) Paperback – July 24, 2012
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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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Top Customer Reviews
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.
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.Read more ›
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.
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.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Chapter 7 is half pages and skips a page in between.
Was going good 'till then.
Stopped when I could no longer follow the story.
Interesting protagonist character, well woven plot, slightly predictable outcome. A good and entertaining read.Published 16 days ago by B
Good story about an non-respected Detective that knows what he's doing to solve the case.Published 6 months ago by RDeRo
Ok. Not great. Could have been the setting that missed for me.Published 6 months ago by Vernon Courtney
After a bit of a browse on the Kindle, tabbing through pages trying to remember what I had bought and forgotten about, Jay Stringer and his short stories Faithless Street jumped... Read morePublished 7 months ago by col2910
Good story. This is a venue that is new to me and was quite intriguing. Plot twists are unexpected and lead to a satisfactory resolution.Published 10 months ago by S.M.Sundberg
A three star is my normal for a decent book. Less than three stars and I usually didn't finish the book. Read morePublished 12 months ago by Patrick T. Kelly
“The drugs trade is like any other, full of office politics and juicy gossip. All you need to do is find the right office junior and apply pressure. Read morePublished 15 months ago by nigel p bird