Josh's Reviews > The Storm Without

The Storm Without by Tony Black
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Jul 22, 12

bookshelves: own, kindle, blasted_heath, crime, review_books, read_2012
Read from July 18 to 20, 2012 — I own a copy

Echoes of Ken Bruen are deafening throughout this windswept, damp, and cold slice of crime by Tony Black. Once removed from a police procedural yet close enough to the beat to give protagonist Doug Michie a dose of blue blood. As a former law abiding officer of the peace, his view on the greater good is jaded having fallen out with his former employer for doing the job he'd been paid to do. No longer with shield, his bravado and hard man persona lead him to troubles from childhood as he revisits his hometown of Ayr to start afresh.

Upon entering his former stomping ground without a cause or purpose, he sights a familiar figure in Lyn (a flame long extinguished) at a bus stop. The decision to engage in conversation draws Michie into a murder investigation; helpless against the tears of a former friend, he stands to prove her sons innocence for the alleged murder of his girlfriend. From that moment forth, author Tony Black engulfs Michie in all kinds of hurt and cover-up - police, local hoodlums, power brokers and general scum all cross paths with the PI-by-default in his search for answers.

The plot, stylistic in its simplicity, strictly lone-wolf without the extravagance is moody and chill inflicting. Yet the raw and atmospheric whodunit tends to give depth (scene explanation and outcomes) a mere glance at a time while maintaining the place setting in explicit detail. Personally I would've liked to have know a little more of the criminal element with the bit players mostly without feeling in comparison to hard-done-by, damaged and vigilant Michie.

'The Storm Without' is taut and unflinching with appeal for the poetic and pulp alike. This is a solid building block for future Doug Michie escapades. If not for the lean storytelling and look-away resolutions to some of the action sequences, this would've been an instant classic. While comparable to Bruen, Black is a unique voice that gives genre fans sometime a little different to digest. 3 stars.
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Reading Progress

07/18/2012 "looking forward to starting this one on the way home tonight from work :-)"
07/19/2012
100.0% "Echoes of Ken Bruen are deafening throughout this windswept, damp crime standalone by Tony Black. 3 stars. Full review soon."
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