There is a lot of Mod fiction around right now, with Seven Day Fool by Jason Disley being one of the more interesting reads.
To be fair, describing Seven Day Fool as ‘Mod fiction’ is probably doing the book a disservice. Yes, there are Mods in it and the book is set within the Mod scene of 1960s Manchester. But this is more like pulp fiction of that era rather than a step inside that scene.
Not that there isn’t a lot of Mod in here. In fact, I was worried initially that there might be too much detail in the book. There’s nothing worse than overloading a book with every piece of research you have picked up along the way. But thankfully, once the picture was painted, we focused more on the story.
It’s a decent one too.
As I said, it’s very much in the style of pulp fiction crime novels of the mid-20th century. Fairly short, hard-hitting and constantly moving. Pretty much what you want in that genre,
The story revolves around a Manchester-based private detective who goes by the name of Jake Brody. One day he is approached by a ‘mysterious’ Polish woman who wants Jake to find her sister, Kinga. She hasn’t been seen for a few days and her sister is worried.
Details are scarce, but Kinga is linked to Colin, a young Mod and frequenter of the Twisted Wheel. What Jake doesn’t know yet is that Colin and friend Pete have done some business with a ‘Mr Big’ of the local crime scene in an attempt to get some imported records. That went wrong and the two have been left without the records and with an (accidentally) dead gangster. In addition to that, Kinga has been snatched.
After that, it’s all about Jake working his way to the two lads, finding Kinga and ensuring no one gets killed in the process. But there is more to it than that. The mysterious girl isn’t quite who she is and there’s another worrying presence in the mix – the girls’ father. He’s every bit as nasty as the Liverpool crime overlord and an associate of his too.
That’s about as much as I’m giving away in terms of plot. You’ll have to pick up a copy if you want to know the rest.
It is definitely a ‘page-turner’, that’s for sure. I whipped through this pretty quickly, although, with just over 120 pages, it was always going to be sprint rather than a marathon.
I enjoyed it too. It’s nice to see 1960s Manchester to the fore than the overplayed ‘60s London. The rest of the UK did exist in that decade, but often gets ignored for the capital. A big plus for me. Perhaps for you too.
It’s a strong and well thought out story too. Initial concerns about it being more about window dressing than plot soon diminished and the story ticked over nicely. Perhaps some more meat could have been put on the bones, but this is pulp fiction and that’s pretty much always concise. The book sets itself up nicely to be a series too. You get the feeling the lead character has more legs than just this one story.
Overall, a nice read and money well spent. If you are looking for a holiday read or something for the commute, I really would recommend this.