To use the vernacular of 1960’s Liverpool, this book by author Brian L. Porter was fab, gear and sound! I believe these days Scousers would also call it boss!
As a former detective who served on Merseyside in the 1960’s I simply delighted in this novel. My enjoyment was heightened even more so owing to my long-ago teenage memories growing up in Huyton who used to “sag” off school to attend Cavern lunch time sessions at the height of the Mersey Beat days.
This book has those days as a back drop to the tale of murder, intrigue, suspense and Porter deftly weaves his work bridging three decades in the telling of the tale.
The characters feel so real. The author clearly has Merseyside roots and accurately depicts the city of Liverpool, its folk, geography, the old docks and the terraced houses.
As a former detective, I found Detective Inspector Andy Ross and his sidekick “Izzie” to be entirely credible. I felt I knew them from my past. The way the cold case investigation unfolds is also a credit to the author and so realistic. He even includes a little internal police politics to add an authentic feel to the proceedings.
Porter has a feel for real people. It comes through in all his characters particularly Connie,
the God-fearing long-suffering wife of James, the bigoted Irishman. There are brief references to sectarianism in the “old days” in Liverpool but with respect to the author it is down played and contains, for example, no reference to the Orange Lodge parades, an annual event in the city often the source of flare-ups between Catholics and Protestants. Notwithstanding that, the author does a fine job of portraying an authentic “feel” to the times in the city.
Porter is a master at using dialogue to tell his story. He allows the characters to live, breathe and inform.
All in all I found this novel thoroughly enjoyable, easy to read and it has its element of surprises to keep the reader guessing.
A final word – you don’t have to have Liverpool connections to enjoy this book. It stands alone as a very good piece of writing and is highly recommended reading.
Just off to order Book 2 in the ‘Mersey Killing’ series! Well done, Brian, and thanks for the good read.
A skeleton and a missing woman. A doomed romance. A mystery spanning two generations.
Liverpool, 1961. A group of young men come together seeking fame and fortune, as the fledgling sounds of the Swinging Sixties take root in the city. Very soon, Liverpool will become synonymous with the groups and music that will shape a generation.
Liverpool, 1999. Skeletal remains found in the docklands lead Detective Inspector Andy Ross and Sergeant Izzie Drake into a journey through time, as the investigation takes them back to early days of the Mersey Beat.
Whose bones laid beneath the mud of the River Mersey for over thirty years, and what links them to a young woman, missing for the entire time?
A Mersey Killing, the first book in Brian L. Porter’s Mersey Murder Mysteries series, is a crime story deeply rooted in the early days of rock n’roll.
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