Monday, July 18, 2005

snap judgment

Newsweek International
July 25-Aug. 1 issue

The City of Tiny Lights by Patrick Neate

Tommy Akhtar, a "Paki-immigrant-Ugandan-Indian-Englishman" and private detective in London, is hired by Melody, a black prostitute who wants him to find her missing Russian flatmate. Tommy's investigation leads him to a fiendish Saudi villain who has sinister plans for London. It's a multiculti homage to Raymond Chandler's 1930s detective Marlowe, without his stylized sophistication. In contrast to Neate's Whitbread Award-winning "Twelve Bar Blues," a bewitching tale spanning three continents, "City of Tiny Lights" is more of a shambling slog.

—Shailaja Neelakantan

© 2005 Newsweek, Inc.