David Blake returns from a vacation in Thailand to his home in Newcastle to find his comfortable life as a “plastic gangster” has turned to shit. Seems “the Drop,” a large sum monthly bribe dealt out to government officials to keep the criminal organization David works for out of trouble with the police, has gone missing along with Geordie Cartwright, the guy David left in charge of it while he was away. Blake’s boss, the fearsome Bobby Mahoney, is none too happy with him as “the Drop” was David’s responsibility, and now it’s up to Blake find Cartwright and the missing money toot-fucking-sweet, or he might end up “missing” himself.
Howard Linskey’s debut novel The Drop (how appropriately titled!) only gets more intense from there as Blake brings us deeper and deeper into the Newcastle underworld. With the help of Mahoney’s legendary right hand thug Finney, Blake desperately shakes down any and everyone who might have had a hand in the money’s disappearance. Before his journey is over though, this white collar criminal is finally gonna have to get his hands dirtier than he ever thought possible.
This is some exciting shit, dear reader, with Linskey giving us a hugely fucking compelling main character/narrator that he’s willing to put some serious screws to as well as a deeply detailed depiction of a criminal organization that feels more authentic and fresh than any I can recall of late. His Newcastle is a place I hope to return to, and with the promise of The Damage coming out in April, those hopes will be realized real fucking soon. If it’s anywhere near as hardcore a thriller as The Drop, the Nerd will eat that shit up something fierce. The Drop is a must for both middle-boiled thriller fans and basement crazy noir nuts alike. It’s a non-stop, tension-filled thriller that isn’t afraid of taking its dark premise to the extreme depths it’s just fucking dying to dive right into.