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Persons Unknown by Susie Steiner Read the opening extract of the brand new Susie Steiner book before its publication on 05/04/2018

Reader Reviewed
Dodgers by Bill Beverly


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January 2017 Book of the Month.

One of our Books of the Year 2016.

Winner of the John Creasey (New Blood) and Goldsboro Gold Dagger Awards 2016.

Huck Finn and Tom Sawyer go rap! A striking literary thriller which follows the reluctant journey of East, a young ghetto kid from a world of drugs and crime in Los Angeles, across the United States on his way to a murder he must commit to prove his loyalty and gain redemption for a mistake he made back home. An old-fashioned narrative quest and road journey through the moral vacuity of America, alongside his psychopathic younger brother and other endearing junior gang members on a mission set for failure. The main protagonist's voice is both touching and engrossing, a modern version of Holden Caulfield had he been born in Compton and a generation or so later, and his itinerary both geographical and mental is a poetic as well as profane, delicate joy to behold. A character study of the highest quality as well as a thriller as addictive as crack. Without the shadow of a doubt, a book that will come to be seen as a landmark in US crime writing. ~ Maxim Jakubowski

Maxim Jakubowski's April 2016 Book of the Month.

Reader Reviews

In addition to our Lovereading expert opinion some of our Reader Review Panel were also lucky enough to read and review this title. You can click here to read the full reviews.

  • Jo-anne Atkinson - 'This is a stunning debut - more than just a crime novel, therein pathos and passion in a short sparely written book.'
  • Catherine Bryce - 'A fantastic crime-fiction thriller!!...The story is well written and will keep the reader absorbed page turn after page turn til the end. Brilliant all round.'
  • Helen Lowry - 'A very character driven book, nothing wrong with that, they all had their flaws and strengths. But, overall I liked the book and enjoyed reading it.'     
  • Glenda Worth - 'Dodgers by Bill Beverly had me hooked from the beginning. The story of East is an emotional journey as well as a big adventure, with lots of surprises and shocks along the way.'
  • Cathy Small - 'The story is a good work of fiction but underlying there is a truth of someone's story.'   
  • Jocelyn  Garvey - 'This is a well written book. Four young blacks driving through white America facing and solving life.'
  • Julie Bertschin - 'A road trip with a difference. The twists and turns in this story mirror the route of the blue van as East and his fellow crew head across the American mid-west with murder on the horizon...A gritty tale which gets under your skin and takes you along for the ride - I loved it!'
  • Clare Topping - 'If you are looking for something that doesn’t fit in any particular category, that will weave in a haunting storyline then this is probably the book for you.'
  • Edel Waugh - 'This book is about choices, relationships  and the monumental seconds in life that can completely change your future. The story could at times be brutal, these characters are no gentlemen after all, but it did not fail to pull at the heartstrings too.'
  • Katie Hoare - 'The story starts of well, but along the way, the pressure starts to take its toll and arguments between the team members...The reader is taken along this journey with them, with their highs and lows, and a sense of the American highways between LA and Wisconsin.'
  • Dana Captainino - 'unfortunately I found it a tad irritating and  was frustrated that it did not grip me in the way I thought it would.'
  • Becky Kirkby - 'Unexpectedly enjoyed this book. It pulls you in and you just have to know what happens. Highly recommended.'
  • Bev Farningham - 'Heavy on narrative and thought provoking.'

Win Books from the Manon Bradshaw Thriller Series!

Persons Unknown, the second book in Susie Steiner's crime thriller series, is now out in paperback and to mark the publication we are giving away paperback copies of both Missing, Presumed and Persons Unknown to THREE lucky winners!

To have a chance of winning one of these fantastic prizes, click the button below. Please note that this draw is open only for UK residents and is free to enter, multiple entries from the same email address will only be counted once.

The draw closes on 30 April 2018. The winners will be notified by 14 May 2018,

Good luck!

Enter prize draw Draw closes: 30/04/2018


Dodgers by Bill Beverly

When East, a low-level lookout for a Los Angeles drug organisation, loses his watch house in a police raid, his boss recruits him for a very different job: a road trip – straight down the middle of white, rural America – to assassinate a judge in Wisconsin.

Having no choice, East and a crew of untested boys – including his trigger-happy younger brother, Ty – leave the only home they’ve ever known in a nondescript blue van, with a roll of cash, a map and a gun they shouldn’t have.

Along the way, the country surprises East. The blood on his hands isn’t the blood he expects. And he reaches places where only he can decide which way to go – or which person to become.

By way of The Wire and in the spirit of Scott Smith’s A Simple Plan and Richard Price’s Clockers, Dodgers is itself something entirely original: a gripping literary crime novel with a compact cast whose intimate story opens up to become a reflection on the nature of belonging and reinvention.


Critical acclaim for Dodgers:

'An important literary crime novel written in street prose which you can expect to be vying for awards soon.'
- Crime Scene Magazine

'Beverly makes his fiction debut with a dazzling crime novel that's equal parts coming-of-age tale à la Salinger's The Catcher in the Rye and travelogue à la Kerouac.' - Publishers Weekly

'Dark, edgy and riveting and, for all that, deeply, humanly serious, Dodgers is white knuckles for the mind.' - Robert Olen Butler, Pultizer Prize winning author of A GOOD SCENT FROM A STRANGE MOUNTAIN

'An excellent book . . . Imagine the young corner boys from The Wire on a road trip across the USA' - James Brown - Sabotage Times

'Not only is the fast-paced and masterfully plotted Dodgers one of the greatest literary crime novels you will read in your lifetime, Bill Beverly has also created, in the teenage boy, East, one of the most unforgettable and heartbreaking characters ever encountered in American fiction.' - Donald Ray Pollock, author of Knockemstiff & The Devil All the Time

About the Author

Bill Beverly

Bill Beverly was born and grew up in Kalamazoo, Michigan. He studied literature and writing at Oberlin College, including time in London studying theatre and the Industrial Revolution. He then studied fiction and pursued a Ph.D. in American literature at the University of Florida. His research on criminal fugitives and the stories surrounding them became the book On the Lam: Narratives of Flight in J. Edgar Hoover’s America. He now teaches American literature and writing at Trinity University in Washington D.C. and lives with his wife, the poet and writer Deborah Ager, and their daughter Olive in Hyattsville, Maryland. He collects beer cans. Dodgers is his debut novel.

Author photo © Deborah Ager

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Book Info

Publication date

5th December 2016


Bill Beverly

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No Exit Press an imprint of Oldcastle Books Ltd


320 pages


Thriller / Suspense
All Shortlists and Winners
Books of the Month
Crime / Mystery
Literary Fiction
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Crime & mystery



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