Needless Alley: The critically acclaimed noir crime debut
'Transplanting the hardboiled Hollywood noir of the 1940s to the backstreets of 1933 Birmingham, [Needless Alley] has all the seamy glitter and cynical grime of the genre' Daily Mail
'A great sense of period and place...creates an atmosphere of mounting menace and dread' The Times
Private enquiry agent William Garrett, a man damaged by a dark childhood spent on Birmingham's canals, specialises in facilitating divorces for the city's male elite. With the help of his best friend - charming, out-of-work actor Ronnie Edgerton - William sets up honey traps. But photographing unsuspecting women in flagrante plagues his conscience and William heaves up his guts with remorse after every job.
However, William's life changes when he accidentally meets the beautiful Clara Morton and falls in love. Little does he know she is the wife of a client - a leading fascist with a dangerous obsession. And what should have been another straightforward job turns into something far more deadly.
Drenched in evocative period atmosphere and starring an unforgettable cast of characters, Needless Alley takes the reader from seedy canal-side pubs, to crumbling Warwickshire manor houses, and into the hidden spaces of Birmingham's Queer, bohemian society.
MORE PRAISE FOR NEEDLESS ALLEY:
'Marlow's very engaging protagonist may herald the birth of a new genre: Midlands Noir' Financial Times
'This is pulp fiction of the highest quality, marking the arrival of a fabulous new thriller writer' Matthew d'Ancona, Tortoise
'Crafted with all the style and elegance of classic hardboiled fiction, lovingly splashed in the grubbiness and grime of interwar Birmingham's cuts, alleys and back streets. A smart, ripping yarn (with) some shocking and moving revelations.' Dominic Nolan, author of Vine Street
'An exceptionally well-written first novel that whets the appetite for many sequels' Irish Times
'Deftly plotted, beautifully written, Needless Alley is a delicious slice of Chandleresque Midlands noir.' Mark Wightman, author of Waking the Tiger
'Marlow beautifully distils 1930s Birmingham into a seamy world of moral corruption: anyone can fall and few are left clean. Gripping, confident and atmospheric.' Kate Mascarenhas, author of Hokey Pokey
'Needless Alley not only evokes 1930s Birmingham in all its dark glory - it introduces characters that are impossible to forget. Read it.' Alan Parks, author of Bloody January
'1930s Birmingham is brought expertly to life in this atmospheric crime noir where corruption and seedy entanglements lurk down every darkly lit street. Compelling and clever, Needless Alley makes for a gripping read that any Peaky Blinder fan is sure to love.' Susan Stokes-Chapman, author of Pandora
'An elegantly written, meticulously researched 1930s noir thriller, with a twisting, turning plot and vivid characters both utterly of their time and powerfully resonant of our own.' Robbie Morrison, author of Edge of the Grave
'Hardboiled thriller with a hint of Peaky Blinders about it' Sun
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