Fun City is run by corrupt officials and respectable gangsters wallowing in luxury mansions in the hills high above the harbor, the beach, and the neon jungle. When vice worker Tammy is found mutilated on top of a pool table, an effete pervert, and son to the 1970s pin-up beauty queen once known as The White Flamingo, is locked up. Can Detective Joe Dylan find The Killer before he becomes one of the hunted? The White Flamingo is a break-neck neo-noir crime thriller from beak to tail feather.
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"Sounds like you lived in the gutter Mr.Dylan."
This is not a book for the squeamish with it's somewhat graphic descriptions of eviscerated bodies, drink and drug abuse and sex. It depicts the sordid side of Fun City, chosen home of ex pats from various countries, of prostitutes and the disillusioned, and corrupt officials. I wouldn't want to live there but it certainly makes for some gloriously quirky characters.
A viscous murder has taken place, a call girl dismembered and brutalized. A young suspect is arrested, held awaiting trial - which could be two years in the future. His mother, rich and once a photographic model known as the White Flamingo, is desperate to have him released and persuades the drug addicted, one time alcoholic Dylan to find the real culprit, the only way that the police will let the son go.
As well as being filled with fully rounded, if flawed, protagonists each pursuing their own agendas, this book is descriptively visual with rooms and scenes springing into focus with the use of the minimum of words. It gets inside the characters' heads, their emotions and sorrows past and present, as initially the storyline takes us from person to person.Good dialogue, too, as the action progresses and we mostly follow the detective hired to find the killer as he struggles with his personal demons whilst trying to track down the city's own Jack the Ripper.
Although the author tells small parts of the story from the killer's perspective, this is a proper mystery story, the identity unknown until the end. And with a whole cast of characters to chose from it makes an exciting tale. The narrator, Nicholas Patrella, is masterful in his giving voice individually to so many, bringing them to life and imbuing each with greater personality even than that which has already been written. Different accents needed, too and all good, with the possible exception of the London cockney, but even here the man is invested with such distinction it really doesn't matter. Patrella's whole reading of the text and dialogue is perfectly suited to the pace and style of this dark story, and a joy to hear.
My thanks to the rights holder for gifting me The White Flamingo, via Audiobook Boom. It was a thoroughly enjoyable listen and one I would definitely recommend to a!l (with occasional reservations) who enjoy good snappy writing, great characters and mysteries in a detective noire setting. I had not previously encountered any of James Newman's books but will certainly be looking out for them in the future.
- Norma Miles
Murder and corruption in fun city
Gritty and violent with a description and view of Thailand that made the book come alive. It's not somewhere I've visited so it was captivating. All tied up with the excitement of corrupt police and a murder to solve.
This was a brilliant who dunnit. Thrillers sometimes don't get that any more and they are too action focussed. This was violent and real and a gritty book but also a proper murder mystery.
I've not listened to other performances of the narrator. Great narration though. Brilliant pace, good voice for the book and nice to listen too.
Everything has a price and nothing and no-one are what they seem
This audiobook was provided by the author, narrator, or publisher at no cost in exchange for an unbiased review courtesy of AudiobookBlast dot com
- Tony Bough