Charlie Owen - Bravo Jubilee (2 stars)

Charlie Owen - Bravo Jubilee



Copper-turned-crime writer Charlie Owen’s third novel is another retro-fitted 1970s police procedural set in a grim Manchester overspill named Handstead aka Horse’s Arse. Picking up the year after the previous book, Foxtrot Oscar, this finds Owen’s rogues gallery of thuggish officers continuing to mete out their brand of brutal justice while Turkish gangster Sercan Ozdemir attempts to extricate himself from his failed bid to exploit the local mafia, snubbed by wily CID boss DCI Harrison.

The ugliness that follows is played out against the rise of football hooliganism, the growth of a burgeoning LSD market and the Queen’s Silver Jubilee. In keeping with the currently popular postmodern view of those times (see Life on Mars), Bravo Jubilee positively wallows in a lack of sophistication, cynicism and violence. But it doesn’t do much else, and it’s not as evocative of its era or milieu as it should have been.


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