“This suspense is terrible. I hope it will last” – Oscar Wilde
Private investigators and the field of PI work have long held our fascination. So much so that they have become an intrinsic part of everyday fiction through radio programs, suspense and thriller novels and of course film and television shows, where a PI brought in from outside solves the mystery and thereby saving the day, has become the most dependable and staple plot line of all such shows. And when you are talking about private investigators how can you not mention the most famous of them all, I’m talking about the iconic Sherlock Holmes himself.
And thanks to such novels, movies and television shows, people can immediately summon up a mental image of a PI when they hear about one. And the one you are most likely to have is the image of the stereotypical private investigator. One who operates out of a single room, a dim lit office in a shady area of the town, an office cluttered with files and paperwork with the lone PI sitting back in a rickety old chair with a lit pipe sticking out the corner of his mouth and blowing slow smoky circles of intense puffs, greeting the unsure and nervous clients with overzealous secretive ambience.
If that is the perception you’ve been carrying around, then get ready to chuck it out and embrace the new generation PI’s.
In author Paddy Bostock’s latest novel Hand In Glove, PI’s Dr Jake Flintlock and his sidekick Dr Bum Park are wealthy and live in high end homes and lead a very affluent life when not taking on investigative assignments. Their blissful to the account of almost dreary lives change the day Binkey, Jake’s dog discovers a severed hand inside a baseball mitt. Which then soon leads to the murder of an American, Chuck Cinzano at Jake’s house at Primrose Hill, London; who apart from being a lot of other things was also the bloke whose game of baseball with his friends was disrupted by Binkey when he found the severed hand. And in light of the clues and revelations that reveal themselves in the aftermath of Chuck’s ‘murder’, Jake & Bum take on this apparent ‘murder’ case which takes them on a whirl-winding trip all the way to California, where Jake and Bum soon begin to suspect that everything isn’t as obvious as it seems on the surface. The rest of this story focuses on how they manage to overcome the many hurdles to find the real culprit.
Hand In Glove is unlike any other novel in its genre out there, with enough satire and madcap madness and mayhem to satisfy the attention span of even a first time reader. There are questionable dead bodies, scorned ex-lovers, dubious alliances, the ever lingering sexual tension between the unlikeliest of pairs and the staunchest of loyalty that you can find between the two lead pairs in any sort of fiction. Jake and Bum may be an odd couple but they share some great chemistry and work very well in tandem to the flow of the story. The nasty cynical humour in it, the very colourful language a character like Dr Bum Park uses and the subtle references and gentle nods to other great pieces of fiction over the years are all what makes Hand In Glove a real gem in the list of its contemporaries.
If you like gritty natty thrillers that are narrated by a very intelligent and knowledgeable voice with well drawn out and colourful characters, a story that grabs you by the collar in the first few pages itself and doesn’t let go until the end, then this compelling suspense mystery thriller with more than a good dollops of witty English humour is the perfect choice for you. To use a baseball analogy as it is in the midst of a baseball game that it all starts; Paddy Bostock has hit one right out of the park with this novel, a definite homerun. It’s written in a pacy narrative that travels at just the right speed letting you soak in all the madness in this thriller. I wonder if anyone will be able to forget Binkey, Stormin Normin and Kyorugi Joonbi even after turning over the last page, to find out who or what they are, you have to go and purchase Paddy Bostock’s Hand In Glove.
There is one warning though that I have to issue, the moment you are done with Hand In Glove, you may feel this irresistible urge to run right out to buy another one of the Paddy’s books and immediately start to read it. Why? Read Hand In Glove and you’ll find out soon enough!
Print Length: 440 pages
Publisher: Wings ePress (February 10, 2014)
Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.