‘Gethin Grey is the man you call when there’s nowhere else to turn’
[ About the Book ]
Gethin Grey is the man you call when there’s nowhere else to turn. His Last Resort Legals team investigates miscarriages of justice. But Gethin is running out of options himself: his gambling is out of control, his marriage is falling apart and there’s no money left to pay the wages…
Izma M was sent down years ago for the brutal murder of a young woman. In jail he’s written a bestseller and become a cult hero, and now the charismatic fading-film-star Amelia Laverne wants to bankroll Gethin to prove Izma’s innocence. For Gethin – low on luck and cash – the job is heaven sent. But is Izma M really as blameless as his fans believe?
This seemingly cold case is about to turn very hot indeed….
[My Review ]
Published on the 21st February by No Exit Press, Fade to Grey is the first book in a new series featuring private detective Gethin Grey and his Last Resort Legals team. Described as ‘a smart, highly contemporary private detective novel set in two vibrant and vividly depicted UK settings, Cardiff and Bristol’, Gethin Grey is a character that I immediately was drawn to. He has his faults, but his heart is most definitely in the right place. Gethin Grey is the son of a retired judge, a stern man with little time for the life choices that Gethin has made. All too aware of the continuous disappointment that radiates off everything he does, Gethin is driven to achieve and succeed, but for his one crutch, his gambling. Gethin is married and has one young daughter who he loves very much. His marriage has been challenged many times due to Gethin’s addiction but his wife has stuck with him, fully supporting the family and maintaining a solid presence in Gethin’s life. But Gethin is pushing his luck, both in his home and work life. He has a team working for him who rely on him to pay their own bills but Gethin’s will-power is fragile and he’s in trouble.
Unexpectedly the team receive a call looking for the Last Resorts team to assist in clearing the name of cult hero and now published author, Izma M. Izma M is doing time for a murder but while in jail he found a certain peace and wrote a bestselling novel, making him a household name for many. The novel came to the attention of an older film-star, Amelia Laverne and for reasons unknown to anyone but herself, she wants to foot the legal bill to assist in the release of Izma M, a man she believes is innocent of any such crime.
This case offers Gethin a light, a way out from the debt he finds himself struggling with so he readily accepts the case. Unknown to Gethin, this is a case that doesn’t want to be re-opened. There are much bigger forces at play here and Gethin soon finds himself on a very dangerous road, leading him to very unexpected people and places.
Fade to Grey is an exciting read as the story jumps between Cardiff and Bristol. Neither city is familiar to me but John Lincoln maintains a very strong sense of place throughout the novel, making it quite easy to visualise the settings. Gethin Grey is a lovable rogue in many ways. He works hard, he means well but he is just not a guy with too much luck. John Lincoln gives the reader a great insight into Gethin Grey, making this a great first book in a new series. Fade to Grey is crime fiction but not like the more traditional police procedural. The Last Resort team are a mix of ordinary people, coming to the job with their own personal baggage, their own personal histories.
Fade to Grey is an impressive and realistic novel, with a very gritty feel off it, giving it a very authentic edge. There is bad language littered throughout the book which may offend some but for me this added to the reality of the story, bringing the characters more alive.
A very enjoyable opening novel to a new series!
[ Bio ]
John Lincoln is the transparent pseudonym of John Williams, the novelist, biographer and crime fiction reviewer for the Mail on Sunday.
In his twenties John Williams wrote a book called Into The Badlands, about American crime fiction (‘John Williams’s Into the Badlands opened up the world of American crime fiction for me and a generation’ – David Peace).
His true crime account of a notorious miscarriage of justice, Bloody Valentine, is a cult classic, described by Benjamin Zephaniah as his favourite book.
Since then he’s written eight more books including the Cardiff Trilogy of novels and a biography of Michael X, Eartha Kitt and Dame Shirley Bassey.