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#Diggerismynewman

Written by Desiree Reynolds for desireereynolds.co.uk on no date provided

I've always loved detective stories, it started with me, as a child, watching Bogey, sweat and 'sock', his way through his case, being made a 'patsey' over some 'dame'. Detective fiction is always about the detective, plot driven, yes, but about a man, trying to make sense of the chaotic world he finds himself in, as he discovers, so do we. Always, in the end, fighting for his life or reputation. The detective is the original flawed hero, heart on his sleeve, looking not only for the murderer, but really for love and stability. Raymond Chandler was my man, til I found Easy and Walter Moseley and his Texas and post WWII Los Angeles and then Chester Himes, reminiscent of Richard Wrights' character style, we witnessed Coffin Ed and Grave Digger Jones, negotiating a relentless Harlem, whilst being a part of the racist system they despise. (They are the police). With the element of race politics added, it made the whole thing more real to me, more about me, in a post Brixton riot London. I still haven't finished reading Plan B, because I just don't want to...yet. The Bone Readers, fits right into that body of work. Set on the island of Grenada, which has a unique place in Caribbean history, Digger is that flawed hero, looking for his lost mother, his absent father and his place in the world he can't quite make out. The greater story, being spoon fed to us, like we're baby birds waiting in the nest, makes some tantalising promises, we want to see kept. The characters, like Digger, the blustering detective Chilman and the enigmatic Miss Stanislaus the setting, all of which we invest in. It takes particular highly developed skills, to keep the story, stories tight, to keep the plot plausible and give us characters that we care about, that's what detective fiction writers and fans have known long time, that's why they have their own prizes and festivals. To a Caribbean literature, obsessed with 'literary writing', this piece of 'genre' writing sits next to Earl or Erna or Jamaica. And maybe we'll be able to free up ourselves to the prospect of writing, all writing being at our disposal as writers and for our entertainment as readers.
It was an excellent summer read and I'm a little sad I've finished it, which is how you should always feel, when leaving a world you've just gotten to know and love.
I'm looking forward to the rest of them.

This is a review of The Bone Readers

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