Editing Mike Dennis' The Ghosts of Havana

Setup On Front StreetI just completed editing book two of Mike Dennis' series The Key West Nocturnes. It came to me already well polished - needing very little input from me - all I needed to do was check the story, and make sure there were no errors. I spotted one or two, in accordance with rule 4*.

What you get is noir, firmly in the tradition of the Maltese Falcon or Key Largo - the first person style has Chandler's flair and Hammett's grit. Even so, Dennis manages to deliver something that is in the present, something that is colourful, surprising and in places, new - all the while preserving the elements that make the 'hard boiled detective mystery': the slang, the violence, the drama.

I don't want to reveal anything about the story - it has so much in it, in terms of mystery and surprise; the tension drives you to read more - and I advise sitting down with a big glass of whiskey and reading aloud. In the end I had to stop editing and read through to the end, because I kept finding myself reading three or four pages without looking for faults.

Three words: read this book.

* - rule four states that whenever you are looking for something of which there may be many, but hard to find, such as coins down the back of the sofa, a particular type of Lego brick or a shard from the glass you just broke, there will always be one more that you missed. 

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