The Cleaner (John Milton #1)The Cleaner by Mark Dawson
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

Two stars for OK. I found it a strange read in many ways. The author nearly pulls it off with a decent plot.
I think the major issue for me was the author, a middle class English solicitor (lawyer), attempting to replicate the patois of black London youth. It didn’t cut it for me. In a former career I often came into contact with boys like JaJa and the gangster Risky Bizness. I had something to use as a benchmark.
The book starts off well. The middle was a real struggle and it nearly ended up on my “did not finish” pile but I persevered. It wasn’t worth the effort as the conclusion was all too predictable and the self-administered operation by the protagonist John Milton was a forced contrivance.
It was writing by numbers. There was a lack of depth to the characters and the prose lacked passion and feeling. The prose had the strange juxtaposition of a lawyer’s English and attempts at street slang not all of which was totally accurate.
I appreciate the author was setting up the character of John Milton for a series but this first novel has left me with zero desire to read any other books in the series.

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