Thursday, September 19, 2013
Review of All the Lonely People by Martin Edwards (1991, Arcturus Classic Crime)
All the Lonely People was Martin Edwards debut novel and the first book in an eight part series featuring world weary but tenacious solicitor, Harry Devlin. The story has the feel of a classical who-dunnit, with Devlin taking on the role of a put-upon, down at heel PI, and the tale focusing on the characters, their relationships, and the investigation, but with little gore or unrealistic or heightened tension. Edwards does a nice job of contextualising Harry’s life as a duty solicitor, evoking Liverpool at the end of the 1980s, and capturing the lives of the poorest strata of society and their social relations. The characterisation is nicely observed, as is the interplay between the characters. For the most part the story works well, but the puzzle seemed a bit too weak and the killer well signposted, in part because the misdirection was a little too obvious. Nonetheless, I found it an entertaining read and hope to spend some more time in Harry’s company in the future.