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Publisher's Summary

Blacklisted by the police. Being sued by a client. And broke.

Things can’t get any worse for Brighton’s No. 1 Private Detective, Joe Grabarz, in this blistering debut novel from award-winning writer Tom Trott.

That’s when his best friend’s body washes up on the beach.

Could it really have been 10 years? What happened? How could his life have ended like this? He needs answers.

But with the city in the grips of organised crime, and struggling to deal with an influx of legal highs, who cares about just another dead drug dealer?

Joe, that’s who. After all, you can’t make old friends. 

Warning: this book contains adult language, sex and drug references, and violence (basically, all the good stuff).

©2016 Thomas Trott (P)2018 Thomas Trott

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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Enter the dark corners of Brighten

What did you love best about You Can't Make Old Friends?

The imagery of a City in transition.... the City of Brighten has had many ups and downs over
the years and is a fitting venue for a murder mystery.

Did the plot keep you on the edge of your seat? How?

No but the writing and the narrator kept my interest to complete the book.

Have you listened to any of Christopher James Saint John Courtney’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

No but will listen to some of his other books.

Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

When our hero becomes aware that his former friend was murdered.

Any additional comments?

This book was given to me for free at my request and I provided this voluntary review.

34 of 34 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Not what I expected

It's not that often that you come across a lead character that you don't like. It's not that Joe's a bad person, he;s just very self-serving, for the most part, his one redeeming feature is how he treats Kenny - a homeless man - otherwise it always seems to be about what he wants, or how to get what he wants.

The story has some interesting twists and the overall plot is a good one, I enjoyed listening to it. It does however end quite abruptly, it doesn't feel like an ending, it just stops.

The narration is well done, I liked the character voices and the pacing is well done.

I received a free copy of this book from the author and/or narrator and/or publisher and I voluntarily wrote this honest review.

If you found this review helpful would you please take a moment to click yes below.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Dee
  • LA
  • 03-17-18

So glad there is a book two!

This book is why I love audiobooks. Listening was like watching a movie. A very good movie.

Joe Grabarz, the main character, was complicated and simple and intense and low-key and a whole list of contradictions. Faced with trying to solve the murder of his boyhood friend, this mix of emotions compelled the story. The ending was insane. I'm so glad there is a book two!

The narration was nothing short of perfection. The twists and turns and emotional highs and lows were delivered so well that I forgot I was listening to a book.

Totally creditworthy!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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great detective

the book was very and extremely well written I love the story and the the characters the story was very good and enjoyable
I was given this free review copy audiobook at my request and have voluntarily left this review."

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    4 out of 5 stars
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A Good read / listen

An intriguing tale, I'm not usually a fan of English PI's but this tale caught hold of me and kept me turning pages. Lots of twists and intrigue.
Narration was good and clear easily understood accents.

A good listen.
I was given this free review copy audiobook at my request and have voluntarily left this review.

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  • Bo
  • 03-28-18

I liked it,.. I hope there is more

Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

Yes, if the friend likes detective stories, noir-esque characters he will be in for a treat.

What did you like best about this story?

'You’re a good man, but not a nice one’ I liked the result oriented, streetwise, gritty main character.

Any additional comments?

Raymond Chandler in Brighton? Mr. Trott has his own style and a great sense of place, I really enjoyed his book.

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  • Norma Miles
  • 04-03-18

When an hour was a day and a day was a year.

Since being black listed by the police, Brighton P.I. Joe Grabarz has had very little work and he's going to lose his flat if he can't pay the rent. Not a happy prospect even if Lenny, who already lives on the street, says that Brighton is the best place to be homeless. So when he gets an early morning police call telling him to come to the beach immediately, Joe is delighted - he's back on the books again, he thinks. However, the arrival of the new DCI from London soon disabuses him of this idea and, even worse, he recognises the washed up, mutilated body as that of his best and only old school friend, Rory.

A superb British detective noir, written in the first person and including the town as an additional character, memories of Brighton past seamlessly melding with reminiscences of his childhood friend and contrasting with the Brighton of now. Like his dead friend, Joe the P.I. is not a conventionally nice character, both operating to a certain extent outside of the law. As he himself says, "when all the rules were gone...is how it like to fight." But he has his own morality, at heart he is good.

This is not a cozy mystery, but down to earth gritty, with good dialogue and character building. This is encapsulated perfectly by the excellent narration of Christopher James Saint John Courtney, whose gentle, very English southern counties voice captures both Joe's essence and the whole spirit of the text. Always steady, no histrionics when the going gets tough, there is a solid reality to his reading. Joe is real, and so are the people he meets.

This is the first in what this reader hopes will be a long series. I was very fortunate in being freely gifted a complimentary copy of You Can't Make Old Friends, by the rights holder after I requested it via Audiobook Boom. Thank you so much. It is one of the audiobooks I have most enjoyed recently, and I listen to several each week. Sadly, there are no others by this author on audio at present but there is a second book, a print version, in this series, which I am about to purchase.

This very British noir detective story is a must for all who enjoy the private eye genre - and for anyone with fond memories of Brighton.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Anonymous User
  • 03-16-18

Gripping

Found it really gripping and couldn't wait to get to the end. A bit too much swearing ie f word for me, but I really enjoyed it. I hope there's going to be a follow up for him to find the 'big boss' it can't just be left like that.
I will recommend it to my friends for sure.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • James
  • 07-17-18

Great listen, can't wait for the next

Great book, easy to get into with understandable characters. Back stories not difficult to understand and not dropped in the deep end trying to piece everything together later.
I'll gladly be listening to this again soon enough and am hoping the next one will be coming soon.
My only "annoyance" if you could even call it that would be that sometimes the narrator would leave no gap between sentences or character changes, sometimes this adds urgency or interruption on purpose. On occasion in this it just seemed rushed. A small thing in an otherwise great book.

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