Monday, May 4, 2020

Book Review: 'Pool Of Life' by Pete Trewin

Pool Of Life by Pete Trewin

One very fine crime thriller!

British author Pete Trewin has published four crime novels – TIME LAPSE, A FAIR WACK, NOT WITHOUT RISK, and now POOL OF LIFE. He works as an economic development and regeneration consultant and witnessed corruption, information he decided to transform into his crime novels. Pete has lived for many years in Liverpool.

‘Mood’ is a word that comes to mind in the first lines of this fine engrossing novel – mood as atmosphere and as human response - ‘Blast from the past’ on Radio City. So, what do they start with? ‘Ferry Cross the Mersey.’ Gerry and The Pacemakers. As far as Jack Gordon was concerned, a lot of those bands from the sixties - Freddie and the Dreamers and Herman’s Hermits and the rest of them – should have been consigned to the dustbin of history where they belonged, not constantly resurrected. To the poets and philosophers, Liverpool was the pool of life. To Jack Gordon at this moment, it was a pool of shite. He turned off the radio, put his road CD on for a bit, yawned and leaned back in the car seat. Everything But the Girl; I need you, like the desert needs the rain. Tracy Thorn’s sultry voice. Now that was good music. From the 80s when he was a teenager…’ With that bit of reminiscence, Pete introduces his primary character with a gut level look into his psyche – information that helps the reader understand Jack.

Once into the arena the story unfolds rapidly and well populated with credible characters – as the synopsis provided speaks – ‘Jack ‘Flash’ Gordon’s private investigation business in Liverpool is in trouble, what with staffing issues and changing technology. So when the ex-copper is commissioned by Sarah Gladwyn from an old Welsh family to investigate a series of threats and attacks from an anonymous assailant it seems like a lifeline. The stalker is obsessed with the family’s role in oppressing the local slate workers in Victorian times and stealing Welsh water for use in England. Sarah’s husband, Oliver Gladwyn, ex hippy traveller and now a green entrepreneur, plans to build a barrage across the Mersey and provide clean energy for Merseyside. You would have thought that the stalker would approve, but no. It’s a great opportunity for Jack so what could possibly go wrong? How about murders, discovery of skeletons in cupboards, conspiracies, bent coppers, corrupt politicians and violent gangsters. And a terrorist threat to Liverpool’s water supply. Flash Gordon? He’ll need to be Jumping Jack Flash to get through this one.’

Yes, Merseyside exists (a county in North West England that includes Pete’s Liverpool) and Pete makes it come alive – a netherworld where gangsters, corrupt politicians and a collection of venal professionals connect and coalesce – and that is what makes Jack Gordon the champion of this tale. Raw, rich in flavor, and a very fine read, POOL OF LIFE takes them on and the result is a very fine fresh new novel. 

Editor's note: This review has been published with the permission of Grady Harp. Like what you read? Subscribe to the SFRB's free daily email notice so you can be up-to-date on our latest articles. Scroll up this page to the sign-up field on your right.