The story opens very directly and in-your-face as our first-person narrator Simone Seabolt introduces herself to the reader by telling us; “In the scheme of this story at least, I’m not very important.” From then on, Detective Leonard makes his entrance into the text before he is physically made present.
This short piece of detective-crime fiction follows Simone Seabolt as she enlists the help of her godfather, Private Detective and ex-policeman, Detective Leonard in order to solve the murder of a young woman who has been murdered with a cricket bat, and prove that her fiancé – who was caught fleeing the scene – is innocent of the crime.
Much of the first chapter is a back-history of Detective Leonard through the eyes and memories of Simone. Author Eric Wood sets this up so well that when the reader finally meets the infamous Detective Leonard – who is deep in combat with an assailant – they already feel very much acquainted with him.
Before meeting Detective Leonard, the reader already has a strong and concrete sense of his character. He is an eccentric, adventurous detective who has a somewhat unhealthy addiction to Twitter, but there is a hint and a sense that his character is far more complex and deeper and what lies on the surface.
The key relationship in the story – and the reason the storyline flows so naturally – is between Simone and Leonard. In fact the murder and crime solving almost becomes a sub-plot as the tale goes on, and the story becomes a character driven narrative led by Leonard, followed by Simone. But this by no means is a bad thing at all, in fact this makes a refreshing change and draws in the reader’s interest.
Set in the heart of Manchester where the author was born and raised, Detective Leonard Makes an Entrance is not only a worthwhile and enticing read, it is a brilliant introduction to the what I predict will be a bright and successful career for its author, Eric Wood.
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