Norm

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Take a pinch of Morse, a dash of Lewis, a spoonful of Hathaway ... and
there you have Norm. Norman Philip Ducker, Oxford’s curious new detective. Cosmology and the mathematics of chaos fascinate him. So do football, motor racing, and the art of winning. But he still can’t get his head round opera. He likes pop; he drinks lager as well as real ale. Oh, and he's not a policeman... More

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Published: Feb. 25, 2010
Words: 87,830
Language: English
ISBN: 9781452337814
About Frank Rawlins

I was born and brought up in historic Stamford in England, but now live near even more historic Oxford. I have a lovely wife, two lovely grown-up children and spouses, two lovely grandchildren, and four lovely step-grandchildren (such is the way of modern life).

I was a journalist for a chunk of my adult life – from junior reporter to editor – until I got really brassed off with working for somebody else and became a freelance editor/writer.

A funny thing happened when I reached 30-ish. I got interested in gardening. I so impressed myself designing my blank-canvas garden that I eventually took a course, and launched myself as a garden designer.

I combined the two enterprises for quite a while, until the gardener was overcome by a resurgent writing bug. So here we are...

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Reviews

Review by: Terry S on March 09, 2010 : star star star star star
This was a great read. Good story, well drawn characters and a clever plot line. The pace of the book keeps you interested and the lead character, Norm, has that little extra 'something' that keeps him apart from other fictional detectives. Highly believable, enjoyable and an unusual slant on the work of Crimestoppers.
(reviewed the day of purchase)

Review by: struan robertson on March 07, 2010 : (no rating)
If you haven't heard of Frank Rawlins, you're in for a treat. This is the third novel from the Oxfordshire-based author with a sharp eye for the topical twist. His previous two novels, The Crunch and The Trouble With Money deal with troublesome tailgaters and Lottery woes. In Norm he applies his years of experience in local journalism to the detective genre with the sort of forensic detail you would expect from a man used to the murky ins and outs of police investigations - in this case into a serial killer with a gruesome calling card. But here's the twist: the hero isn't a grizzled, hard-bitten detective with issues - he's a young-ish ex-copper working for Crimestoppers, whose daily routine of taking calls from hysterical whistle-blowers is interrupted when he gets involved in the growing catalogue of bumpings-off and tries to help. At the same time he's wrestling with the intellectual trials of understanding Bill Bryson's A Short History of Everything, watching England play and getting his long-term girlfriend to commit to The Act. Rawlins's real skill is in pulling this very likeable character into an ever-darkening mesh of plot, which along the way takes in themes of religious obsession, sexual identity, social conformity (or not - and its consequences) and the sometimes blurred morality of police work. In doing so he's created a character who lives in the world of Rebus and Morse - but could also be one of us.
Recommended.
(reviewed the day of purchase)

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