Review: Deadfolk by Charlie Williams

Just finished Charlie William’s Deadfolk today. It’s the second time that I’ve read it and even second time around I still enjoyed it immensely. It is superbly written, in English vernacular, and is also a great indictment of small town life, without the kind of nasty middle-class bigotry that runs through a book like Crap Towns. More than that though it’s also a fantastic page-turner of a thriller and is as close as a British writer is likely to get to the spirit of Jim Thompson without actually being him. For a start it does the classic trick of taking a thoroughly unpleasant character like Royston Blake (bouncer and Ford Capri aficionado) and making you like him with the kind of narrative slight of hand that Thompson pulled off so well in The Killer Inside Me and Pop. 1280 – a drip feed of information that shows how unpleasant the narrator is only in the latter half of the novel, by which point the story has you well and truly hooked. Williams also seems to understand how much of small town life and small town thinking is ripe for vicious black comedy, because this novel has it in spades. For those of you wishing to get an idea of where the British crime thriller is at buy it today. It’s an absolute steal at 99p on Kindle.