DIY Private Investigation is not for the fainthearted. What could the inhabitants of a rural Essex village possibly know about hunting down and defeating a violent drugs gang? Where do you start? Why would you even contemplate starting? Unfortunately, for Julian Ashton and his tramp friend Wordsworth, they have no choice. Embarking innocently on a search for the missing teenage son of a friend, they are unwittingly drawn into a situation, which threatens their lives and more importantly, the lives of those close to them. Suddenly in too deep, there is no option to turn back.
‘Outsiders’ is the follow-up to the first book in the series ‘From the Edge of an English Summer’ which introduced to the main characters Wordsworth the Tramp and retired banker Julian Ashton. They, and many of the other characters from the first novel, including Julian’s wife Lydia, are back for this joyous follow-up.
Without the need to introduce the main players, we’re off on another adventure at breakneck speed when we learn about a missing teenager – and the story rarely lets up from there. The main plot covers everything from religious cults, travellers, drug dealing, peadophilia, and child grooming, but, credit to the author, it manages to take these heavy topics and produce a cracking crime novel. Our hapless hero Justin stumbles from one difficult situation to the next, sometimes helped and sometimes hindered by the ever inscrutable Wordsworth, with Lydia rolling her eyes and keeping the two of them on the straight and narrow.
It’s great fun, and the characters and relationships are given room to expand and develop. There are plenty of chuckles along the way, and the odd moment of tension, alongside musings on the state of the world. There are one or two formatting inconsistencies and the odd punctuation error, but nothing that distracts from the story.
With the second book in the series Michael Wynn has really hit his stride, the writing is assured and confident, and he is in complete control of all the strands of the plot, weaving an exciting adventure. You can’t help but enjoy being taken along for the ride.
Even better than the first enjoyable book in the series, ‘Outsiders’ is a confident and assured follow-up, and a sign that there could be more to come from the series.
Similar To: M.C. Beaton; Agatha Christie
You can learn more about author Michael Wynn and read more of his work on his blog:
‘Outsiders’ is available from Amazon on Kindle and in paperback:
The first novel in the series is also available.
I occasionally review books on my blog from independent and self-published authors. If you have a book you would like me to review, leave me a message and I will take a look.
For reviews of traditionally published books and to see what I’ve been reading, visit my Goodreads page.