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City of Dreadful Night (Brighton #1)

3.06  ·  Rating Details ·  98 Ratings  ·  23 Reviews
First gripping mystery in the Brighton Trilogy - July 1934.  A woman’s torso is found in a trunk at Brighton railway station’s left luggage office. Her identity is never established, her killer never caught. But someone is keeping a diary . . . July 2009. Ambitious radio journalist Kate Simpson hopes to solve the notorious Brighton Trunk Murder, and she enlists the help of ...more
Hardcover, 256 pages
Published December 1st 2010 by Severn House Publishers
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Jul 25, 2016 Kb rated it did not like it
I had a real problem getting into this book. The author chose a strange narrative style, in which the least interesting character (the lead male) narrates in first person, while other narrators (the woman police officer, the young radio journalist) are written in third person. (All of them should have been third person. It would be less creepy that way.) Then part way through you get a diary as well. So, confusing narration to start with.

Back to the creepiness. The ex-SAS guy was hopelessly weir
This is not typically a genre that I would pick. I chose this book because it is set in Brighton, which I live near, it even mentions by home town of Haywards Heath. I must admit, it was really nice reading a book with so many landmarks that I recognise.

It took me quite a while to get into the book, but I did read the beginning in short spurts, so this might have something to do with it. When I was about a third of the way through it, I was on a long train journey and managed to read the rest of
May 05, 2013 Spuddie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
An oddly-crafted book in which one of the main characters narrates his story in the first person, but the other protagonists use third person. It took me awhile to get used to that. A couple of the narrators I found sort of annoying, but as the book went on, I could see the necessity of their input in laying out the foundations for the mysteries.

There are two settings for the book also--one present-day Brighton, in which the police have botched a raid on a housing estate by going (apparently) in
Dec 01, 2014 Nigeyb rated it liked it
I was attracted to this book primarily because of its Brighton setting. I'd also heard it gave a credible evocation of the City - and indeed it does.

There are two stories, one is about the infamous Brighton Trunk Murders of the 1930s, the other is about a modern day police raid on a fictional Brighton estate that goes wrong and result in the end of the local Police Commissioner's career. A botched raid in which a number of people die is just about plausible, however the introduction of an ex-SAS
Michael Brescia
Jul 06, 2015 Michael Brescia rated it did not like it
By page 40 I was pretty into this whodunit. I liked the author's style of building up a couple of different subplots and hinting at how they would come together. But then when they converged all the intrigue was gone and I found that I really didn't care whodunit anymore.
The characters are not that believable. For one: we're supposed to accept that the narrator, who has just suffered a crushing, career-ending/family alienating scandal is just sooo willing to help a local radio host play detectiv
Garry Stevens
Jun 24, 2016 Garry Stevens rated it did not like it
The author is simply a bad writer. He has no talent for plot, character, or nuance. This book -- one in a trilogy that should have been strangled at birth -- is beyond confusing, ill-thought out, and simply inept.

He is the crime fiction critic for a UK newspaper, and should have stayed there. His ill-fated foray into fiction is a cardinal lesson that being a a critic gives you no cred as a author.

Peter: Stick with being a critic. Your novels, including your ham-fisted Carry-On comic novels, ar
Elizabeth Noah Astle

This book is odd in my opinion. One character narrates in first person and all others are in 3rd person. Then throw in a diary reading from the 1930's. The plot is a bit hard to follow in regards to how the book in written...I think that has a lot to do with it being written in 1st and 3rd person.

This story involves a cold case murder of 1930's and current day murder. At the end of the book, you are still left hanging as this is a 3-part book. I think it starts out slow picks up a bit, and then
Jul 05, 2015 Debbie rated it really liked it
The first few pages are technical British police things. Don't stop. Get to about page 10 and you won't be able to put it down. Ugly, brutal and vicious; it is the story and history of crime bosses and corrupt police in Brighton, England. It's not at all what I thought it was going to be, but it's a fabulous, intricate read. I am on to the second book and continuation of the story, The Last King of Brighton, and it's just as good as the first. It's one of those books you move into.
Patricia Gulley
Apr 12, 2013 Patricia Gulley rated it really liked it
I have to admit this was a very interesting read and will continue to read the trilogy. The 1934 Trunk Murder is investigated along with the shootings of four people by the police, and looks like they had the wrong address. Cleverly done with one first person POV, and several others, with many scene changes. I like complication if it isn't boring me or is poorly written, and this book was neither.
Oct 21, 2013 Robert rated it really liked it
I like the more hard-boiled style; I like the cliffhanger; I like the bits of mystery around each character as we get to know them. but the fired/retired/demoted noble selfless cop who goes on to try and solve crimes where they were wronged steps into science fiction. Changes in perpective can be difficult as they are only noted by a line break. Going to read the other two in the series anyway.
Oct 24, 2011 Joan rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
This book has two plots which don't become intertwined.

Since it is part of a trilogy, I suspect they will do so later in the series.

I will not be reading them to find out the conclusion. Just not worth the effort. And the idea that I don't even care about either the resolution of the plots or the characters is damning evidence of a bad book.
Bob Battle
Jul 10, 2013 Bob Battle rated it liked it
Set in Brighton, England this is the first of a trilogy whose main theme is the solving of the very true life gristly 1934 Trunk Murder(s) and the fictional modern day investigation of a police action gone very wrong(or did it?)

Not the best of its genre but good enough for me to commit to the second book
Kerri Northey
Mar 07, 2016 Kerri Northey rated it did not like it
Despite an odd writing style, poor plotting and too much emphasis on politics for my taste I was preparing to give this 3 stars. That all went by the wayside when the book finished without a solution.
An unforgivable sin to expect the reader to obtain a second book when the first was so pedestrian. If we like your book we'll seek out more of your work. Count me out.
Wilde Sky
Apr 10, 2014 Wilde Sky rated it it was ok
Armed police raid a house and a number of people end up dead.

I thought the story started reasonably well, but then drifted into a disappointing muddle. I found the writing to be pretty sloppy / lame.
Mary Kay
Jan 17, 2012 Mary Kay rated it liked it
I wish I had known at the beginning that this was first of a trilogy set in Brighton. The ending really left me hanging! The mystery concerns a cold case from the 1930s & a present day murder.
Mar 14, 2013 Julia rated it did not like it
Just could not figure out where this book was going but I'm pretty sure it didn't get there. Whodunnit? And what did they do? And does anyone care?
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Peter Guttridge is the Royal Literary Fund writing fellow at Southampton University and teaches creative writing. Between 1998 and 2002, he was the director of the Brighton Literature Festival. Since 1998, he has been the mystery reviewer for The Observer, one of Britain's most prestigious Sunday newspapers. He lives in Sussex on the edge of the South Downs National Park.
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Other Books in the Series

Brighton (5 books)
  • The Last King of Brighton
  • The Thing Itself
  • The Devil's Moon
  • Those Who Feel Nothing

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