Review of One Man Crusade
Having been so pleasantly surprised by Steven Suttie’s humour in his first book, the Clitheroe Prime Minister, I decided to pick up his second release and give it a whirl. I wasn’t disappointed. Light and fluffy this was not, with some really grim and gritty subject matter underpinning the plot. But his characters still had that light touch which made them warm and friendly to the reader.
Focussing on a small police task force who are trying, with limited resources, interest or support, to track down someone who is assassinating convicted child sex offenders, the plot builds slowly at first but takes off like a rocket once ‘Pop’, the assassin with a conscience, makes contact with the national media and begins winning hearts and minds.
Suttie has created another clutch of characters who plough their way through inconceivable and yet also utterly believable circumstances, as relentless in pursuit of their goals as they are in their distinctive Northern brand of humour. The reader can’t help but connect with Miller, Karen and the rest of their team, as they continue their hunt for the identity and location of Pop. Pop however is an engaging character in his own right and part of the compelling nature of this story is generated by the consistent pressure on the reader to root for both sides of this conflict. I found myself cheering on Pop throughout his crusade with the same vigour as I supported Andy and Karen’s efforts to stop him. Up until the last few minutes of reading, I couldn’t tell which way the plot was going to resolve itself, and I almost didn’t want to know.
The writing is compelling and the plots certainly fresh and intriguing. Sutton occasionally makes heavy weather of his descriptive passages, but his fluent usage of affectionate insults, long discussions and quick bursts of humour combine to create believable dialogue, instantly recognisable to anyone who has lived and worked in the working class areas of north western England.
If you’ve not given Suttie’s works a try, and could do with a light quick and compelling read, you could do far worse than give this new northern writer a try!*[Got something to say? Submit to Project Shandy]*