Title:Death of A Painter
Author: Matthew Ross
Publisher: Red Dog Press
Release Date: January 2nd, 2018
Rating: 3.5/5 Stars
IN THE BUILDING GAME TIME IS MONEY AND MONEY IS EVERYTHING. UNFORTUNATELY FOR MARK POYNTER, HE’S RUN OUT OF MONEY AND HE’S FAST RUNNING OUT OF TIME.
When Mark Poynter discovers a murder on his worksite all of his financial problems suddenly seem a lot closer to home: was this a warning his debts are overdue?
Suspected of being the killer and worried at being the intended victim, the murder only makes Mark’s money problems worse, leading him to turn to the local villain, Hamlet, who has his own unique repayment plan in mind for Mark.
When two more deaths plunge him even further into debt, Mark finds himself faced with a choice – help the police and clear his name or help the villain and clear his debt.
Set in the Medway Towns on the grey margins of criminality, where no job’s too big, no dodge’s too small …
Death Of A Painter is the first in a new series of darkly comic crime fiction novels featuring the beleaguered builder Mark Poynter, aided and hindered in equal measure by his trusted crew of slackers, idlers and gossips, and the lengths they go to just to earn a living.
A murder and a man suspected. Mark finds his friend and talented painter murdered in one of his work sites and with one of his tools. But Mark is an innocent man, with a debt the size that could commit a crime. Was the hit for him and his friend just happened to be at the wrong place at the wrong time? Is this the sign the debt collectors are giving to Mark? Death of A Painter follows the story of Mark, a man considered a suspect in his friend’s murder and his journey to pay his debts and prove his innocence.
Mark is like-able character; He is witty, can talk his way into more time and works well with is crew of fellow builders, well idlers and gossipers first, builders second. Overall, he’s a decent guy in a bad situation. The friendship and crew bonding in this story was a selling point to me. Also, the relationship[s] Mark had to build with an enemy really showed that he was able to st aside his differences to help coin his innocence. Mark soon learns that the job he is taken on will cost him more if more dead bodies start popping up and has to work against time.
The story is a great builder’s jargon filled was a quick and interesting read. Mark’s adventures keep you turning the page to figure out what will happen next. His conversations with authorities were laced with half comedy/half tragedy because Mark is a guy who unfortunately cannot catch a break. The dark comic fiction in this novel added both levity and suspense to the overall plot. The plot leaves you asking questions, hoping the next book answers them but in a way where you wouldn’t give up on the series.
If you want a quick read packed with dark comedic effort, than Death of a Painter is the book for you!
About the Author
Matthew Ross was born and raised in the Medway Towns, England. He still lives in Kent with his Kiwi wife, his children and a very old cat.
He was immersed in the building industry from a very early age helping out on his father’s sites during school holidays before launching into his own career at 17. He’s worked on projects ranging from the smallest domestic repair to £billion+ infrastructure, and probably everything in between.
A lifelong comedy nerd, he ticked off a bucket-list ambition and tried his hand at stand-up comedy. Whilst being an experience probably best forgotten (for both him and audiences alike) it ignited a love for writing, leading to various commissions including for material broadcast on BBC Radio 4 comedy shows.
Matthew moved into the longer format of novel writing after graduating from the Faber Academy in London in 2017.
‘Death Of A Painter’ is his first novel and the first in a planned series of stories featuring Mark Poynter and his associates.
Matthew enjoys reading all manner of books – especially crime and mystery; 80s music; and travelling and can’t wait for the next trip to New Zealand to spend time with family and friends.
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