Black Shadows by Simon Swift

Title: Black Shadows
Author: Simon Swift
Publisher: Wild Wolf Publishing
Publication Date: April 30, 2011
ISBN1907954082 (ISBN13: 9781907954085)
Available @ Amazon | B&N 

Summary: When rookie private detective, Errol Black, gets mixed up in the killing of gangster Dutch Schultz, he vows to clean up his act. But when former partner Dyke Spanner is shot to death, Black is drawn into a violent and bloody quest for a mythical, priceless diamond. 

Black Shadows by Simon Swift is a very enjoyable noir. Swift seems to have captured all the elements that make up the classic detective noirs. From the first page I was drawn into the mystery and intrigue that Black Shadows offered. This story is told from the perspective of Errol Black. Errol is a private eye, a detective with a not so clean background. Errol takes on the case of the beautiful and alluring damsel in distress, Claudia. He gets more than he bargains for when he investigates her fiancée. Errol gets mixed up in a world-wind of problems including getting involved with well known gangsters and being suspected of murdering his former partner, Dyke Spanner.  Errol is a flawed, tough, cynical type of guy. He has a soft spot for the sweet and innocent and a weakness for the femme fatals. Errol doesn't know who to trust.  Practically everyone he knows has some sort of motive why they wanted Spanner dead and why they want the priceless blue Tavernier Diamond. The closer Errol gets to finding the killer the more dead bodies start to pile up. This story is full of red herrings that keep you captivated.
 With so many motives and opportunities for murder it was hard to eliminate any of the suspects. The characters are shady with motivations of greed and lust. I found it interesting that one of the characters is based on the real life gangster,  Dutch Schultz This book had such a vintage feel to it.  Simon Swift did a great job sorting out the details of this time period to make it as authentic as possible. I absolutely loved the 1940's New York setting. This book had everything I had expected to find in a noir and more. The story is very entertaining and definitely worth reading. Black Shadows is the first book in the Errol Black trilogy.

To find out more information on this book and the author: website | blog | Goodreads


  1. A totally awesome book and deserves all the publicity it can get.
    Tee Gee

  2. I love this book. The Raymond Chandler/Humphrey Bogart atmosphere is very attractive and the plot and characters work really well. A book which I highly recommend to everyone Don't miss it!

  3. @Tee and Gerry, I couldn't agree more. This is a great book :D


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