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You Can't Make Old Friends cover art

You Can't Make Old Friends

By: Tom Trott
Narrated by: Christopher James Saint John Courtney
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Summary

Blacklisted by the police. Being sued by a client. And broke.

Things can’t get any worse for Brighton’s No. 1 Private Detective, Joe Grabarz, in this blistering debut novel from award-winning writer Tom Trott.

That’s when his best friend’s body washes up on the beach.

Could it really have been 10 years? What happened? How could his life have ended like this? He needs answers.

But with the city in the grips of organised crime, and struggling to deal with an influx of legal highs, who cares about just another dead drug dealer?

Joe, that’s who. After all, you can’t make old friends. 

Warning: this book contains adult language, sex and drug references, and violence (basically, all the good stuff).

©2016 Thomas Trott (P)2018 Thomas Trott

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When an hour was a day and a day was a year.

Since being black listed by the police, Brighton P.I. Joe Grabarz has had very little work and he's going to lose his flat if he can't pay the rent. Not a happy prospect even if Lenny, who already lives on the street, says that Brighton is the best place to be homeless. So when he gets an early morning police call telling him to come to the beach immediately, Joe is delighted - he's back on the books again, he thinks. However, the arrival of the new DCI from London soon disabuses him of this idea and, even worse, he recognises the washed up, mutilated body as that of his best and only old school friend, Rory.

A superb British detective noir, written in the first person and including the town as an additional character, memories of Brighton past seamlessly melding with reminiscences of his childhood friend and contrasting with the Brighton of now. Like his dead friend, Joe the P.I. is not a conventionally nice character, both operating to a certain extent outside of the law. As he himself says, "when all the rules were gone...is how it like to fight." But he has his own morality, at heart he is good.

This is not a cozy mystery, but down to earth gritty, with good dialogue and character building. This is encapsulated perfectly by the excellent narration of Christopher James Saint John Courtney, whose gentle, very English southern counties voice captures both Joe's essence and the whole spirit of the text. Always steady, no histrionics when the going gets tough, there is a solid reality to his reading. Joe is real, and so are the people he meets.

This is the first in what this reader hopes will be a long series. I was very fortunate in being freely gifted a complimentary copy of You Can't Make Old Friends, by the rights holder after I requested it via Audiobook Boom. Thank you so much. It is one of the audiobooks I have most enjoyed recently, and I listen to several each week. Sadly, there are no others by this author on audio at present but there is a second book, a print version, in this series, which I am about to purchase.

This very British noir detective story is a must for all who enjoy the private eye genre - and for anyone with fond memories of Brighton.

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Gripping

Found it really gripping and couldn't wait to get to the end. A bit too much swearing ie f word for me, but I really enjoyed it. I hope there's going to be a follow up for him to find the 'big boss' it can't just be left like that.
I will recommend it to my friends for sure.

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Great listen, can't wait for the next

Great book, easy to get into with understandable characters. Back stories not difficult to understand and not dropped in the deep end trying to piece everything together later.
I'll gladly be listening to this again soon enough and am hoping the next one will be coming soon.
My only "annoyance" if you could even call it that would be that sometimes the narrator would leave no gap between sentences or character changes, sometimes this adds urgency or interruption on purpose. On occasion in this it just seemed rushed. A small thing in an otherwise great book.

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