Not Wholly Unbearable

7 04 2018

The Unbearable Lightness of Being in Aberystwyth by Malcolm Pryce

 

 

There is nothing unusual about the barrel-organ man who walks into private detective Louie Knight’s office. Apart from the fact that he has lost his memory. And his monkey is a former astronaut. And he is carrying a suitcase that he is too terrified to open. And he wants a murder investigated. The only thing unusual about the murder is that it took place a hundred years ago. And needs solving by the following week. Louie is too smart to take on such a case but also too broke to turn it down. Soon he is lost in a labyrinth of intrigue and terror, tormented at every turn by a gallery of mad nuns, gangsters and waifs, and haunted by the loss of his girlfriend, Myfanwy, who has disappeared after being fed drugged raspberry ripple.

 

I keep reading these hoping for a breakthrough. The characters are entertaining enough and the plotting is appropriately bonkers but the rib-tickling promised by many of the reviewers just fails to arrive. Nevertheless, it’s harmless, clever and mildly diverting so quite a long way from unbearable.

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