Needle Song by Russell Day #bookreview @rfdaze @fahrenheitpress #Fahrenbruary

Spending the night with a beautiful woman would be a good alibi, if the body in the next room wasn’t her husband. 
Doc Slidesmith has a habit of knowing things he shouldn’t. He knows the woman Chris Rudjer meets online is married. He knows the adult fun she’s looking for is likely to be short lived. And when her husband’s killed, he knows Chris Rudjer didn’t do it. 
Only trouble is the police disagree and no one wants to waste time investigating an open and shut case.
No one except Doc.
Using lies, blackmail and a loaded pack of Tarot cards, Doc sets about looking for the truth – but the more truth he finds, the less he thinks his friend is going to like it.


Spotting this novel on the Fahrenheit Press website I was curious about the title, vaguely wondering whether this was perhaps a story about drug addiction, but as it turned out, the needle in question is in fact a tattooing needle and the song is the sound produced when tattooing. Now, as I told you before, I have zero tattoos but I do have a bit of a fascination with tattoos. Add some bikers to the mix (Sons of Anarchy is one of my favourite shows of all time) and a deck of Tarot cards, and I’m sold!

Meet Andrew, more commonly known as Yak(ky) because, like the Japanese Yakuza, Yakky has a lot of hidden ink. Most of the story is told from his point of view and I gobbled it up because I absolutely adored Yak! He has a wicked, bone-dry sense of humour that made me grin at my e-reader more than I could count. An apprentice nurse in a former life, Yak is now an apprentice tattooist working for James “Doc” Slidesmith. When Chris, a close friend of Doc, gets into trouble with the police because his lover’s husband is found dead, possibly murdered, Doc decides to take matters into his own hands and find out what happened. And he discovers a bit of a cesspool, folks!

Chris’ lover, Jan, is a very complex character. She’s never really under suspicion from the police, but she was certainly under my scrutiny! She’s a bit of a chameleon, changing both appearance and mannerisms depending on the situation she’s in and the person with whom she’s interacting. I couldn’t quite figure her out. Did she kill her husband, did he commit suicide, did Chris kill him in a fit of jealousy, did Jan put Chris up to it, is she framing him? Reading this novel took me the longest time, because I kept zoning out, trying to unravel this ball of yarn in my mind. Seriously, I had to stop myself from making a crime board and connecting everything with red thread as people are wont to do on TV! But every time I decided I’d know sooner if I just read on which is what I then proceeded to do. And I have to say, Doc did a mighty fine job. He has a self-proclaimed fascination with Miss Marple, because like her, he wants to figure out the why more than the who or the how. But he reminded me more of Colombo actually. Remember him, solving crimes in his old raincoat? Little bit cross-eyed, funny way of walking, always the nice guy? Know what he and Miss Marple and Doc all have in common? People think they have them pegged. A funny-looking man, an old bitty, a tattoo artist with a scary-looking facial tattoo? What harm can they possibly do, how smart can they possibly be?! People tend to believe what they see, but like Colombo and Miss Marple, there’s more to Doc than meets the eye. He has a degree in Psychology for one, and he has more than one trick up his sleeve. Doc is truly an incredible character, from his Voodoo religion to his tattoo shop, from his deduction skills to his Cheshire Cat smile, from his Jiving to his facial ink, he is unique and intriguing and I cannot wait to read the next novel in this series!

Highly recommended 

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