Have I read “Marriage Plot”? No. “Iq84”? No. “Cat’s Table”? No. “Rules of Civility”? No.
Why? Because I’m obsessed with Derek Raymond and learning the Queen’s slang. If you’re not English best to have an English friend at hand or at least Google so you can understand what you’re reading.
“Berks, tealeaf, coming the acid, moody, punter, SE12, John Bull, done bird, pettifogging” ? Hmm…
Yeah, the underbelly of London in the 1980’s – shocking, evil, gruesome, brutal, Jack the Ripperesque, but with such fabulous writing that you’ll be bowled over.
First person narrator. The Sergeant without a name who works in London's Department of Unexplained Deaths: “We work on obscure, unimportant, apparently irrelevant deaths of people who don't matter and who never did...No murder is casual to us, and no murder is unimportant, even though murder happens the whole time in a city like this.”
If you like really, really dark noir, try the Factory series (factory means “cop-shop”) by Derek Raymond, nee Robin Cook (NOT the medical thriller author!), who said of himself, “I left the up escalator to ambitious sods like Kingsley Amis. I had the down escalator all to myself.”
I'm having flashbacks as I write this.