An FT Best Summer Thriller 2023
‘Creates an atmosphere of mounting menace’ The Times
‘Conjures up a backdrop so vivid you can taste the smoke in the air’ Val McDermid, author of 1989
Private enquiry agent William Garrett facilitates divorces for the city’s male elite. With the help of his best friend – charming, out-of-work actor Ronnie Edgerton – William sets up honey traps. But photographing unsuspecting women in flagrante plagues his conscience and William heaves up his guts with remorse after every job.
William’s life changes when he meets the beautiful Clara Morton and falls in love. Little does he know she is the wife of a client – a leading fascist with a dangerous obsession. Soon, what should have been another straightforward job turns into something far more deadly.
Drenched in evocative period atmosphere and starring an unforgettable cast of characters, Needless Alley takes the reader from seedy canal-side pubs, to crumbling Warwickshire manor houses, and into the hidden spaces of Birmingham’s Queer, bohemian society.
‘Has all the seamy glitter and cynical grime of the genre’ Daily Mail
‘Marlow’s very engaging protagonist may herald the birth of a new genre: Midlands Noir’ Financial Times
‘Evokes 1930s Birmingham in all its dark glory’ Alan Parks, author of Bloody January
‘Needless Alley makes for a gripping read that any Peaky Blinder fan is sure to love’ Susan Stokes-Chapman, author of Pandora