The Book Bandit’s Library
The historical mystery genre is one that I always enjoy, so I was very much looking forward to reading The Alcoholic Mercenary by Phil Hughes. The blurb of this novel was very convincing and I suspected that as soon as I started to read I would soon become swept up in the story. I am very rarely wrong, and once again I was right.
This novel is everything that a historical mystery should be.
Special Agent Welsh’s job is not made easy. It is the late 1970s and misogyny is seemingly unrelenting at work, and her husband cannot contain his jealousy when she is promoted. On top of this she wants to find out exactly what happened to her predecessor, but every time she broaches the subject a metaphorical door is slammed in her face. Rachel is a very strong and determined woman (you would have to be to carry on with the way she is treated), yet she also came across as very real. She silently seethes at her treatment and yet hides it behind a mask of indifference. She does not suffer fools gladly and she always has an inkling of when she is being played. I really enjoyed reading about Rachel. She is one of those characters that you can really get behind.
Nicola Di Cuma “Boccone” was a character that really helped to keep this story moving forward. Boccone’s brother, Beni, is in prison but the danger comes from his brother’s boss, a crime lord that thinks Berni has broken the code, and even a prison will not keep him safe from recompression. If his boss wants him dead he might as well dig a grave. Boccone understands the danger he is in and he wants to make sure his brother remains safe. And so, he enters a tangled web of lies, ambition, and murder and he becomes embroiled in the criminal gangs. I found Boccone endlessly fascinating, the choices he makes and the problems he faced made this book a truly gripping read.
I am really looking forward to reading more books by this very talented author.