Liza is a gangster’s wife who has tired of taking care of her husband Archie, who has been suffering from Locked-In- Syndrome due to a kidnapping that went badly wrong (for him at least). She asks Mr Suit, the crime boss who accidentally shot Archie, to put him out of his misery. He does as he’s told, but various complications, such as Archie suddenly remembering where he’s hidden the proceeds of the kidnapping, result in the world’s slowest getaway, in a canal boat along Regent’s Canal, but events soon catch up with Liza and she’s forced into a showdown with Mr Suit and his henchmen.
Mr Suit is a bit of a departure for Nigel Bird, whose short collection Dirty Old Town rather impressed me last year. It’s a blackly comic noir tale with barely a likeable character in sight (they’re all trying to get one over on each other) and its tongue firmly in its cheek. This novella is short and snappy and good fun while it lasts. It isn’t as deep or layered as many of Bird’s shorts, but it races along brightly and will definitely keep you glued to your Kindle for its short duration. Highly recommended.