Another Benedict Jones – Charlie Bars offering – The Book of Skin and another great short piece at 26 or 27 pages long. Plenty of depth and substance to it.
Charlie is looking into the disappearance of a £10k rare book, bound in human skin from a university. Subject of said missing tome – a 19th century study of sex magic!
Great dialogue, great one liners – on his way out of the uni, Charlie spots a security guard he knows….
“Money’s good and I might get to smack a student in the mouth.”
He grins at me. Always did have an aversion to learning.
With more valuable books left alone and after an inventory check some more on a similar subject matter also missing; Charlie has an inkling on the reason for the theft, and a possible suspect.
There’s some steamy sex with another employee of the university and after a second round of frolics, Charlie sustains a beating. His sex partner having set him up - The Book of Skin is in demand. Persons unknown want to get their hands on it.
Following up on our hunch, Charlie has a bruising encounter with a frustrated spinster and her sturdy rubber sex toy. He’s solved the case and recovered the goods.
However a final twist still hits us, as Constantinou is forced to display a certain amount of pragmatism in the face of a threat to his mum. Our avaricious collector is determined to have the book at any cost.
The Book of Skin has a new home.
Top story, superb characters, plenty of action and dialogue.
Charlie Bars has a certain rogue-like, wide-boy quality that makes him excellent company and one of the most interesting series characters I have read about in the past few months. Street smart and loyal, definitely a man you would want on your side.
4.5 from 5.
Benedict J. Jones – Skewered and other London Cruelties was recently enjoyed.
(review of free book)