A Kill for the Poet by Simon Maltman

A Kill for a Poet

Brian Caskey is a bit of a mess.  A former cop, he drinks too much, smokes too much, has mental health problems, and has got himself involved in something he probably shouldn’t have gotten himself involved in.

He is also a writer of 1940’s crime fiction, with a main character who drinks too much, smokes too much and has got himself involved in something he probably shouldn’t have.

Both Brian and his detective live in Northern Ireland, a place where people seem to have a bit of an edge to them but also don’t take life too seriously unless they have to.  Neither seem to have had much luck in life, living alone and on the edge of the “real world”

Without giving away too much of the plot I can’t say much more than that other than this is a great book.  Brian is a complex and compelling character and the story, which includes a book within a book is well written and well plotted.

It is quite dark, as you would expect in a noir book, and quite lean – there aren’t many wasted words here, which I like – but there is also a sense of humour there which lightens some of the darker scenes; Brian doesn’t take himself too seriously.

This is the second book by Maltman I have read, the first was a short story late last year, and the second I have enjoyed and can highly recommend for people who like noir fiction and short, sharp, reads.

Emma x



About the book…

A Kill for the Poet is the sequel to the acclaimed and bestselling A Chaser on the Rocks. It can also be read as a standalone novel. Follow Brian Caskey, as this mystery noir reveals a detective with many flaws and personal problems. He becomes embroiled with a dangerous criminal network, while trying to battle his mental health issues, and work on his own writing. This ‘story within a story,’ also follows Caskey’s own creation: P.I Billy Chapman, as he unravels a murder mystery in the 1940’s.

Source: Author
Publisher: Solstice
Publication date: 10th November 2017
Number of pages: 216
Genre: Crime fiction, Noir
Rating: 4 out of 5


Note: I received a copy of this book in return for a fair and honest review.  All thoughts, feelings and opinions are my own.  

  1. I like the sound of this one…a book within a book could really capture the reader. Thanks for sharing.

    1. It does help keep you engaged i think. Two mysteries to solve.

  2. The idea of the book within a book sounds quite fun… 🙂

    1. It was. Made it a different read. And I feel like I need those at the moment.

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