Being the resident troubleshooter for a big-time crime family has its perks — among them a posh flat and sex with the boss’s sister. But living the criminal high-life hasn’t made Eoin Miller fat and happy. He’s still the misfit half-Gypsy, ex-police detective, estranged husband and son who buries his physical and emotional wounds beneath painkillers and denial. But now his brilliant career in dirty work has taken a turn for the absolute worst.
Covering up the killing of a porn peddler has gone seriously sideways, toppling Eoin into the tightest of spots: Between his beloved boss and a conspiracy rife with blackmail, murder, torture, and treachery. Before things get better, more people will get dead, and Eoin must outwit, or outrun, an underworld cartel, his former brothers in blue, and a chilling hit man who never breaks a sweat…even when he’s breaking bodies.
I listened to Old Gold, Runaway Town, and Lost City in order during the last two days. This noir crime series with its train wreck of a protagonist turns into a Mafia-like story of a crime family in Lost City as Eoin (pronounced like Owen) Miller becomes right-hand man to crime family boss Veronica Gaines. Veronica, Eoin's childhood friend, has just inherited her top position from her father.
The three novels in this series are set in the midlands of England. The first two are set in a mid-sized town near the industrial city of Birmingham and Lost City is set mostly in Birmingham, the second largest city in England. Having resided in England and traveled throughout Great Britain extensively over a 30 year period most of cities, towns, and countryside have a history and charm the we Americans cannot match here at home. The exception is the midlands and especially the gritty industrial city of Birmingham which have very little to interest or charm anyone.
Although protagonist Eoin Miller is somewhat empathetic, the characters in this trilogy generally are not decent human beings; indeed, all are criminal. They include Eoin's estranged wife who is a former star cop and now a disgraced criminal, Eoin's Gypsy father with his dark history, crime family boss Veronica Gaines who deals in drugs and all other types of extra-legal trafficking, Veronica's slutty younger sister whose main goal in life is embarrassing her family, and several of Eoin's friends all of whom are social misfits.
I have enjoyed this trilogy but must point out that it is not for everyone. Lost City is the best novel of the three. It is the only one that qualifies as hard-core noir. This is the first time I have read anything by British author Jay Stringer. Stringer's mind is a dark place indeed. The novels should be listened to in order, but they can be read as stand alone.
British actor Michael page is fantastic in his narration of Lost City.
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