The Gilded Edge
When white, upper-class Johnny Beresford is found dead in Belgravia and a black nurse-come-prostitute Marcy Jones is bludgeoned to death in Notting Hill in 1965, Detective Vince Treadwell discovers there is far more linking these two murders than meets the eye. His investigation takes him to the seedy gaming and drinking clubs of a Swinging Sixties London in which classes mingle and gambling and sex go hand in hand. But, as he becomes more involved in the case, and with Beresford’s alcoholic and drug-dependent sister, he finds a far more sinister corruption of the mind at work.
Danny Miller was a finalist in the New Blood Dagger ITV3 Crime Thriller Award 2011, and it is easy to see why. The plot in The Gilded Edge is fast-paced and flows seamlessly through the high and low lives of mid-1960s London society with equally gritty realism. The historical period is so well-embedded in this novel that losing oneself in 1960s London is effortless. The characterisation is fabulous – rounded, flawed and believable people who make themselves either detestable or endearing to the reader. This is no cozy crime by any means, and indeed violence is the name of the game here. But this violence is both necessary to, and advances, the plot and is never overused.
The sign of an entertaining, excellent genre read is getting to the end of the novel with a heavy heart and wishing to read it all over again – or wanting to read the next in the series. For those who like their mysteries teamed up with a historical setting they can relate to, then this is very highly recommended. I sincerely hope that Danny Miller continues to produce historical crime fiction of this caliber, and I look forward to his next release. This was a wonderful read.