Crime Fiction

  • ISBN 9781846687921
  • 12/07/2012
  • 288p
  • Paperback
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Weirdo

The new novel from'the First Lady of Noir Fiction'(David Peace)

Twenty years ago, a fifteen-year-old schoolgirl named Corrine Woodrow was convicted of murdering one of her classmates.But now new forensic evidence indicates that Corrine didn't act alone, and Sean Ward - a private investigator whose promising career in the Met was cut short by a teenage drug dealer with an automatic weapon - travels to the seaside town of Ernemouth, to try to discover what really happened all those years ago. But he quickly realises that what's ultimately at stake is not Corrine's reputation, but those of the people who ran the place then - and still run it now.In order to get to the truth, he has to take on not just retired Detective Inspector Len Rivett - the man who headed up the original case and wants to keep it firmly closed -- but also the mindset of an entire town that has always known how to look after its own.

About the Author

Cathi Unsworth began her journalistic career at nineteen while still studying at the London College of Fashion. Headhunted byMelody Maker, she worked as a freelance feature writer/reviewer for several years before joiningBizarremagazine. Her writing is inspired by the late Derek Raymond, whom she interviewed forMelody Makerand who encouraged her to follow the crime-writing path. She is the editor ofLondon Noir, a collection of London crime stories published by Serpent's Tail. Her novels areThe Not Knowing[9781852428921],The Singer[9781846686405], andBad Penny Blues[9781846686788]. She lives in London.

Reviews

'A great, page-turning read. The construction is effortlessly managed. The sense of place - I remember that Yarmouth / Lowestoft area very well from my book-trawling days - is spot on. I think the whole package works beautifully: memory traces, bad magic, sounds, smells. So thank you again for letting me have an early taste.', Iain Sinclair

'Fans of Cathi Unsworth's potent brand of period noir have come to expect her trademark fluid writing, tense plotting and believable characters but inWeirdo, she has added an extra dimension of intensity. Set partly in the 1980s and partly in the early 2000s, the bang-on and powerful evocation of being a Punk in the provinces twists round the switchback central story of madness and murder like a perfect riff. Satisfying and beautifully done,Weirdois a brilliant read, by a brilliant author.', Joolz Denby, Pre-publication quote

'A must for fans of crime fiction.', Anne Sexton, Hot Press

'Cathi Unsworth, follows up her masterly noirBad Penny Blueswith another fine crime novel,Weirdo, as a private detective travels to Norfolk to try and unravel the mystery of a schoolgirl's murder.', Simon Evans, Choice

'Another fine crime novel from Cathi Unsworth after her masterly noir,Bad Penny Blues', Simon Evans, Choice

'Unsworth's best yet, as sharp as vinegar on chips', Christopher Fowler, FT

'A serious talent... An unusually gifted writer of heartfelt noir... she has brilliantly captured that desperate sense of teenage boredom, isolation, danger and mayhem.', Henry Sutton, Daily Mirror

'Cathi Unsworth has carved out an idiosyncratic niche writing unsettling, subcultural British noir . . . a creepy, credible page-turner that delights and disturbs.', Metro

'An absorbing mystery, an extraordinarily powerful evocation of time and place and a cast of characters whose every breath feels real - Unsworth gets better with every book.', Laura Wilson, Guardian

'Bad Penny Bluesmarked out Cathi Unsworth as a writer of rare talent.Weirdoproves she is no one-hit wonder... Demonstrating once again a fine sense of place and period (1983 and 2003), Unsworth creates a gripping tale of adolescent angst and genuine evil.', Julia Handford, Sunday Telegraph

'The greatest strength of Cathi Unsworth's crime writing to date has derived from her ability to evoke a specific time and place with an intense and visceral skill.Weirdo, her fourth novel, is her finest work yet in that respect, and the fact that it is attached to the most deft and intricate piece of plotting of her career makes it an outstanding addition to the British crime-writing scene . . . page-turning and intense.', Doug Johnstone, Independent on Sunday

'Unsworth draws on her Norfolk upbringing to explore an insular society', David Connett, Sunday Express

'I wanted to write to you to say how much I enjoyed WEIRDO. I loved the setting, of course, and the set-up, but what I was most impressed by is Unworth's representations of the kids at the heart of the story - kids living at the nexus of multiple outsider narratives and embodying the continuation of those narratives. Nobody writes about teenage girls better, in my experience.', Author of The Sea on Fire and Marine Boy, Howard Cunnell

'Careful and nuanced characterisation. The plotting, too, is that of an author in full control of her form: detailed and intricate, replete with chicanery, intrigue and surprise . . . Weirdo is Unsworth's best book so far; she keeps getting better and better.', Mark Bond-Webster, Eastern Daily Press

'Masterful . . . brilliant evocation of time and place, Unsworth adds astonishing and disturbing insight into the minds of disaffected youth who cannot find love and acceptance. Terrific.', Marcel Berlins, Times

'A fascinating and hugely enjoyable read', Lynn Taylor, Take a Break's Fiction Feast

'A brilliant and bleak novel about our own adolescents'capacity for murderous hatred, set in an entropic Norfolk seaside town whose wince-makingly well-depicted air of permanent hopelessness seems to have eaten into its young residents'souls.Unsworth's plotting is superb but it is her ability to convey a sense of time and place that stands out, and she writes wonderfully about music, too. For all the grotesqueness of her story, the novel shares with a good 50 per cent of the best pop songs the ability to recapture something we can all identify with, the intensity of teenage loves and loathings.', Jake Kerridge, Daily Telegraph

'A sad, elegiac look at youth and innocence . . . a superb read.', Stav Sherez, Catholic Herald

'Unsworth explores the grisly side of parochialism with cool compassion', Vogue

'Book of the Year: Will be startlingly familiar to anyone who has ever touched base with the dark side of the teenage dream ... as good as British noir fiction currently gets', Janine and Lee Bullman, Loud and Quiet Magazine

'Crime reads of the year: Unsworth gets better with every book', Laura Wilson, Guardian


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