April 5th 2001
240 pages
B-format paperback

The Concrete Sea by John Dalton

Buy Now Price £7.99

Kate Connor’s body lies undiscovered in industrial wasteland for fifteen months – strange fragments of bone lodged in her throat and a sea bean at her side. Assigned to investigate her murder, Don Avoca joins forces with sad-eyed Jackie, a local PI. Together they track down gun-toting dopeheads and hapless misfits, taking their chances in a winter-dark city of subterfuge and violence. Amid prying CCTV-cameras and swirling highways Don struggles to stay afloat. Can he find escape from the dreams and voices that threaten to drown him? Or will his longing for retribution block out the truth of his own loss?

Dalton’s first novel, The City Trap, wonderfully evoked the dark side of his native Birmingham and begged worthy comparisons with Ian Rankin’s Edinburgh and John Harvey’s Nottingham in the urban grit stakes. His new mystery consolidates his high standing on the urban noir map and sees him emerge as a poet laureate of Midlands bleakness. Crime writing is at its best when it summons an unmistakable sense of place, and Dalton proves a master, conjuring a malevolent palette of grey city streets, urban desolation and sociopathic life. British dirty realism at its strongest


Dalton evokes a strong empathy for the downtrodden, taking pride of place among British crime writing’s dirty realists. The slick tale unfolds like a whiplash


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