Sometimes Doing The Wrong Thing Might Just Beat The Alternative

“Gail Timson and Nick Hale’s secret affair is exposed when Gail’s husband Barry is shot dead, and they are both arrested as suspects. Released, but under scrutiny of police, press, public, and family, they skip bail and abscond together.

Helped and hindered by witness and suspect alike, the police struggle to identify Barry Timson’s killer. But Barry’s violent brother Alan has made up his own mind, and is determined to exact revenge.

Are Gail and Nick innocent or guilty? And will police solve the case before Alan gets to mete out justice his own way?

There are no bizarre government plots in ‘Love Sex Work Murder’, no incredible coincidences, and no clichéd extreme hero or villain characters. Neal Bircher’s thought-provoking, sometimes comic, sometimes tragic, and often moving tale is of a drama that befalls ordinary believable people, and is all the more compelling for it.”

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I’ve taken a couple of weeks away from blogging, partly through ill-health. Largely, however, it was because I felt that being in possession of a somewhat addictive personality (anyone who knows the extent of my music collection can attest to that fact!) I was beginning to feel that it was taking up too much of my life, hence the self-enforced break.

Now, feeling more positive about the blog and less compelled to post daily, I’m dipping my toes back in with a brief wirte-up on a novel that I read during that break…

“Love Sex Work Murder” is the 2015 debut novel from author Neal Bircher, about whom I have discovered very little – other than he is apparently a writer for radio, comedy and a number of motoring publications.

Neal Bircher
Neal Bircher

I thought that this was a pretty good debut, with characters that were rounded enough for the reader to care what happened to them.

The action moves backwards and forwards in time, which did make it hard going at times, I felt, and it was a little bit disorientating in terms of where you were and what was going on at any given time – but maybe that’s just me.

I wasn’t convinced by Gail and Nick’s frequent shedding of all their clothes outdoors throughout the winter – is that normal behaviour?! – but the rest of their relationship seemed to ring true.

That said, I did enjoy the story and the twists and turns that came with it. Generally speaking I thought the plot and characters were very believable. As the blurb claimed, there were no conspiracies or extreme heroes or villains to be found here, making the whole thing feel more grounded in reality than some novels.

So, a solid if unspectacular debut novel, with enough promise to ensure that I’ll be interested to see where Bircher goes if a second novel appears…


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