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by Mark Sullivan
Crocus Books, May 2002
230 pages
6.99 GBP
ISBN: 0946745374

Buy in the UK | Buy in Canada

If Donald Westlake had been born in Manchester and listened to Marilyn Manson, he could well have written this book. Instead, Corned Beef Sandwich is author Mark Sullivan's first novel, and very enjoyable it is too.

Take a goth assistant in a run-down bookmakers, a bag of stolen money, a halal corned beef sandwich and an aquarium full of oddly named goldfish; mix them all up with a good dollop of humour, a smattering of romance and some decidedly dodgy characters. Then stand back and watch the sparks fly. The main premise of the book is a hold-up gone wrong, the wrong person ends up with the loot and the baddies want it back. The result is an endearing romp which could easily be renamed Reservoir Goldfish.

The voice of the main character is completely original and the rest of the cast are both bizarre and beleivable at the same time. The writing is casually stylish and Mark Sullivan uses words and phrases playfully. Corned Beef Sandwich is a comedy crime thriller where the crime is incidental, the thrills are Manchester home video rather than Hollywood blockbuster, and the comedy is understated and effortless.

This is a really good read - completely original, charmingly scruffy and has that real feelgood factor. It's also the only time I've ever found corned beef appealing.


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Reviewed by Donna Moore, October 2002

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Contact: Yvonne Klein (ymk@reviewingtheevidence.com)

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