Death Of A Painter – Matthew Ross


When Mark Poynter discovers a murder on his worksite all of his financial problems suddenly seem a lot closer to home: was this a warning his debts are overdue? 
Suspected of being the killer and worried at being the intended victim, the murder only makes Mark’s money problems worse, leading him to turn to the local villain, Hamlet, who has his own unique repayment plan in mind for Mark. 
When two more deaths plunge him even further into debt, Mark finds himself faced with a choice – help the police and clear his name or help the villain and clear his debt. 
Set in the Medway Towns on the grey margins of criminality, where no job’s too big, no dodge’s too small … Death Of A Painter is the first in a new series of darkly comic crime fiction novels featuring the beleaguered builder Mark Poynter, aided and hindered in equal measure by his trusted crew of slackers, idlers and gossips, and the lengths they go to just to earn a living.


I’m dipping my toe back in the blogging waters for this very special book.

Death of a Painter is a fantastic story. Mark Poynter – electrician and all round nice guy – finds his friend with his head bashed in. What follows is a rip-roaring tale of the aftermath of this discovery.

Mark is a fantastic main character. I’d never read a book from an electrician‘s POV. He is a likeable chap who finds himself in an unenviable position, many unenviable positions actually. He is a character who you root for, both in his quest to right some wrongs and in his personal life with the love interest next door.

The story has everything – excitement, edge of your seat action and a lot of humour. It is fantastically well written, definitely a ‘just one more chapter’ type of book.

The other thing I liked about the book was the characters. Matthew Ross has created a cast of memorable (likeable and not) characters who you want to know more about. Action scenes were really well written, but I also loved the world building scenes – mates sitting in the pub after a hard day’s work, shooting the breeze. You care about them. And you care because the writing is so good.

Matthew has been working at this book for a while now, and to have it released during a pandemic feels wrong. Yet also, right. In a time when we need distraction, this is perfect. It is darkly comic and thrilling to the last page. If you need to escape for a few hours, escape to Medway Tows with Mark Poynter. Death of a Painter is a fantastic read from an author who is going places. Got on this train early!



Find it at the red dog press website. The physical copies are a thing of beauty!

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