Book Review: The Vinyl Detective: The Run-Out Groove by Andrew Cartmel

His first adventure consisted of the search for a rare record; his second begins with the discovery of one. When a mint copy of the final album by “Valerian”–England’s great lost rock band of the 1960s–surfaces in a charity shop, all hell breaks loose. 

Finding this record triggers a chain of events culminating in our hero learning the true fate of the singer Valerian, who died under equivocal circumstances just after–or was it just before?–the abduction of her two-year-old son.

Along the way, the Vinyl Detective finds himself marked for death, at the wrong end of a shotgun, and unknowingly dosed with LSD as a prelude to being burned alive. And then there’s the grave robbing…

But he does find out what happened to the missing child, and it wasn’t what anyone expected–or wanted–to hear.

What I Thought:

I recently reviewed the first book in the Vinyl Detective series, and this second installment, The Run-Out Groove, it just as good.

The strong point of this series is that narrative voice of the titular detective – he has a dry wit, and knows his stuff when it comes to new records. Add that to an intricate and mysterious plot, and you’ve got a thoroughly entertaining book with some laugh-out-loud moments.

Some characters return from book one, Nevada and Tinkler being just two, and there are some new ones to enjoy, mostly connected to Valerian and all with something to hide!

Again, in this book, there is a lot of detail about music as the detective (who is still not named) goes about his searches – I find this fascinating, as it’s generally new information to me and I feel like it adds much-needed background on how the detective does his job.

There is clearly an affinity for animals in Andrew Cartmel’s work, as there is an especially interesting goose featured, alongside the detective’s cats. This might be the first book in which there is a communication system created using cats!

I’m already excited for the next two books in the series and I’ve also started working my way through the Rivers of London graphic novels, on which Andrew Cartmel is a collaborator.

To find out more about those and Andrew Cartmel’s other work, why not check out his website, where he is currently blogging about the books he’s reading…

The Vinyl Detective: The Run-Out Groove is published by Titan books.

Please note: I was sent a copy of this book for review. All opinions are, as ever, my own.

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