*I received a free copy of this book with thanks to the author. The decision to review and my opinions are my own.*
Blurb: Cataclysmic events have occurred in the decorous upper middle class enclave within Southsea, Portsmouth, on the south coast of England.
But what were the circumstances that contributed to this violent clash involving a Sherman tank and a bazooka? The strange occurrence is Investigated by Lord Everard Pimple, a naive, upper class twit who not only inadvertently opens a can of worms, but has an introduction into the world of womanly wiles.
Everard’s life is about to blow up like an atom bomb… he just doesn’t know it yet. But after the dust settles, will he still be standing?
Anyone new to Pete Adams’ inimitable style might do well to dive into his Kind Hearts and Martinets series first, before this first in the DaDa Detective Agency spin-off series, as those previous books set the background and some of the characters for what is turning out to be an increasingly surreal reading experience. (Unsurprising for anyone who is conscious of the tenets of Dadaism!)
For those who are already firm fans, we start this book with a little visit to Jack-Jane-Dick Austin and his lovely wife Mandy-Pumps-Duck, as they grapple amorously on a rocket launcher – or is it a bazooka? – while Keef Bananas and his hapless chums grope for a tank in the suburban fog.
It gets weirder from thereon in!
After that initial teaser, we switch to the main ‘hero’ of the story, Pimple, who is equally hapless and perhaps even more charmless than the Banana gang. Pimple is attempting to interview eccentric Geography teacher, Aedd Murphy, to discover what happened with said tanks and rocket launchers (or bazookas) and why, but he is hampered by a procession of distractions and interruptions, and of course, by his own utter incompetence as a reporter.
The political thriller aspects of the story are thus obscured and illuminated in turn by a stream-of-consciousness of puns, innuendo, wordplay, slapstick, toilet humour and Benny Hill- or Carry On-esque sexual shenanigans. The characters are deliberately unappealing in almost every way possible, and the offence-potential dial is turned up to full, with lots of non-consensual groping and casual domestic violence. And running beneath and through the whole disturbing melee is a clever sub-story about spies and suburbia which only thrusts itself into prominence with the grand finale, coinciding with a return cameo from the beloved DaDa duo themselves.
This is a story within a story, twice removed – you won’t have read anything like it.
I have commented many a time that with some writers you can relax and know that you are safe in the hands of a skilled professional. Well, with Pete Adams you must keep your wits about you at all times, because you are in the hands of a deranged chaotic genius, with a penchant for sedition and subverting expectations and a fondness for classic literary novel-of-manners… anything can happen, and usually does!
Heaven – and Pete Adams – only knows where this series will take us next, but you can be sure of a wild ride, so keep your hands in and to yourself, and watch out for your earholes if they are within clipping range.
Before and After – What follows is before, and then, afterwards, is after. Not afters, as that would be a dessert, say, apple crumble and custard. Suffice to say this is a scary story when you get to the after bits, especially if the custard has gone cold. You, the innocent reader, will be lured into a sense of a secure world of haute-monde and geography and, when you are least aware – Bam!– Pete Adams, Road Kill: The Duchess of Frisian Tun
Road Kill: The Duchess of Frisian Tun is out on Amazon right now!
Check the following links to find my thoughts on Pete Adams’ Kind Hearts and Martinets series: Book 1, Cause and Effect; Book 2, Irony in the Soul, Book 3, A Barrow Boy’s Cadenza, Book 4, Ghost and Ragman Roll and Book 5, Merde and Mandarins and for my author interview about this very book, Road Kill!