The Vinyl Detective, The Run Out Groove – Andrew Cartmel

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MILD SPOILERS FOR THE VINYL DECTECTIVE, WRITTEN IN DEAD WAX. READ AT YOUR OWN RISK.

I received this book from Titan Books for an honest review.

The second in The Vinyl Detective series which continues in near future after the first concluded. The Vinyl man (I think this is what I shall name him) has settled down with Nevada in London with their (his) two cats. Stinky is in rehabilitation centre opposite him which causes them grief after he starts to bribe the cat into delivering messages.

This novel is not unlike the first, the vinyl man is hired and mayhem ensues in their search. However, this time there is a twist. Not only are they searching for a record, they are searching for a person. Reluctant at first he gradually comes around to the idea after the intrigue of the record and its history. A man named the “Colonel” (not his given name) is searching for his long lost nephew, the child of rock star Valerian, a singer from the 1960’s who died in mysterious circumstances.

Like the first book I thoroughly enjoyed reading through his escapade and events within. Like the first it is laced with an adult humour describing hallucinogenic drugs and their effects in great detail while maintaining a serious note. This is most likely due to the vinyl man himself being serious and wishing to have no part in these gatherings. While you may be deceived into thinking this plays no bearing on the plot they actually do in one of the most finger biting scenes within the novel.

While I enjoyed it I feel it had lost its uniqueness. There were a lot of the same jokes and punch lines as in the first and nothing new was added in terms of character. Tinkler was again one of the only characters who felt three dimensional and an interesting character. I would love to have a novel focusing upon him or even a few chapters, he has so much to give and it was great to see him play a larger role within this novel. Nevada has only added the jealously trait to her limited range which at first seems endearing it soon becomes annoying. I just wanted to scream “He thought you were dead, get over it!” In the next novel should there be one I hope she tones down this as it takes away from what is a well written (slightly weird) relationship. The vinyl man himself is still as serious as in the first novel and hasn’t evolved much. Quick thinking and with a knack for getting into trouble I don’t see him changing much within this series.

The novel ended on an unsuspecting high and a neat conclusion. The chase itself was enjoyable and it all linked together well but again I was left wanting more. The characters could give so much more and while the plot is different and intriguing it will quickly become repetitive. I would recommend people to read this if you have read the first novel, if not head back and read it. Together they make great reading with twisting plots and outrageous situations that are laugh out loud.

This book is due to be published in the UK on the 9th of May.

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