Nick Fletcher’s novels feature his private-eye creation Max Slater, an ex-journalist obsessed with the movie-image of the slick private detective but painfully aware he lacks the necessary investigative flair. Slater’s talent is perseverence, an inventive mind and , as he puts it, ‘making your own luck.’
Reviewers have compared Nick Fletcher’s terse, ascerbic style to that of legendary American author Raymond Chandler, whose own detective Philip Marlowe prowled the tawdry streets of Los Angeles in iconic novels such as The Big Sleep. But while Marlowe plied his downbeat trade in the 1930s and 1940s, Max Slater is a private-eye for the 21st century, a vegetarian, a cynic, a man with his own distinct moral code, a liking for vodka and a disturbing weakness for pretty young women.
Slater - ‘a new and irresistible anti-hero’ according to one critic – is a flawed character who is never afraid to break the rules, or even the law, if he feels it necessary.
Max Slater, who first appeared in a short story, made his novel debut in The Long Sunset (South Star, £6.99) in which he investigates an inexplicable contract killing in a quiet English village, starting a trail which leads headlong into a bizarre and deadly adventure on the beautiful holiday island of Lanzarote.
REVIEW: Nick Fletcher’s writing is a compelling mix of wry observation, spiky humour and near-poetic imagery. His slick effortless style brilliantly evokes the dark edge of man-against-the-odds detective fiction, yet leavens it with sharp, satiric and self-deprecating wit.
The second Max Slater novel was Imperfect Day, (Classic Books £6.99) Set mainly around the south-coast resort of Brighton, this riveting thriller sees journalist-turned-private-eye Max Slater taking on a psychotic millionaire who murders by proxy, and an extraordinary blonde who has trouble remembering whether or not she is wearing any clothes.
REVIEW: Brilliantly laced with allegorical comments on modern life and piercing observation of human foibles, it is flecked throughout with a sharp, cynical wit. It is cool, intelligent and direct.’
Nick Fletcher began writing short stories in 1999, and achieved immediate success, being short-listed for the prestigious Philip Goode Memorial Prize, and later receiving an award from World Wide Writers Magazine. He has since published a collection of his short stories in paperback, Escaping the Rain (South Star, £5.99) and won great acclaim. The stories often have a dark edge, embracing love, humour and the failings and triumphs of human nature, sometimes against a criminal background. One of the stories features the debut of the laconic private eye Max Slater.
REVIEW: A stylish collection set against a world of glamourous women, obsessive men and extraordinary situations, where sex, fear and revenge are often keynote elements and where the male psyche is sometime stripped bare with ruthless candour. Intriguing, inventive and assured.