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A Song from Dead Lips by William Shaw

Sarah Broadhurst's view...

The first in what promises to be an exciting trilogy, perfect for fans of Life on Mars and Ashes to Ashes. But to suggest it’s just gimmicky nostalgia would be to do this atmospheric, complex and exciting thriller a disservice. The characters are well drawn, the scene setting perfect whether you lived through London’s swinging sixties or not, and the plot will keep you guessing to the end. I can’t wait till the next in the series.

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A Song from Dead Lips by William Shaw

London, 1968. The Runaway. A young woman is found naked and strangled in an alley in well-to-do St John's Wood. The African. The neighbours would love to pin it on the enigmatic black stranger who has just moved in. The Pariah. Detective Sergeant Cathal Breen is convinced there's more to the case than anyone wants to admit; no-one's listening. The Outsider. In walks WPC Helen Tozer - awkward chatterbox, farmgirl, and the first woman to enter the murder unit - and gives Breen a breakthrough. A Song from Dead Lips is a crime thriller that shows the glorified sixties close-up, as it really was - comfortably sexist, racially prejudiced, class-bound and crawling with corruption.


'A first-rate police thriller set amidst the seamy underside of the swinging sixties ... The totemic year of '68 will never seem the same again'
C. J. Sansom

''Shaw skilfully re-creates an era of social turmoil and class conflict ... against a vivid background of pop culture, casual racism and Britain's involvement in the bitter civil war in Nigeria'
Sunday Times

About the Author

William Shaw was born in Newton Abbot, Devon, grew up in Nigeria and lived for sixteen years in Hackney. For over twenty years he has written on popular culture and sub-culture for various publications including the Observer and the New York Times. A Song from Dead Lips is his first novel, which is followed by the next in the series, A House of Knives. He lives in Brighton.

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Book Info

Publication date

22nd May 2014


William Shaw

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riverrun an imprint of Quercus Publishing


496 pages


Thriller / Suspense
eBook Favourites

Crime & mystery
Thriller / suspense



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