At The Chime Of A City Clock by DJ Taylor

In books read on April 11, 2010

I dropped into the library on Friday to return some overdue books and ended up paying off all Darren's library fines by mistake. I wasn't going to borrow any books because the fine was making buying books look cheap but I spotted this book with a Nick Drake quote for a title and couldn't resist.

On Sunday I had most of the day to myself and picked the book up to read and finished it a few hours later. I can't remember the last time I did that.

The book doesn't have a great deal to do with the Nick Drake song except for the obvious chiming of clocks as you go through the book. It's set in 1930s London with the financial crisis playing out in the background. Loads of details evoke the period nicely. The plot is a bit thin, which wouldn't be a problem if it wasn't subtitled as "a thriller" - it really doesn't deliver on that. There are criminals chased here but it's not big on action or suspense.

If I'd read the book at a slower pace I think I'd have liked it less - and reading books slowly seems to be what I do these days - but a few hours on a Sunday going round the London of the thirties with a door-to-door carpet cleaner salesman and the characters he encounters worked out to be very enjoyable.


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