An enjoyable novel debut proper from the delightfully daft Mortimer.

It took a little while to get into the rhythm of the story, there’s an awkwardness to the dialogue that is deliberate given the main-character’s social awkwardness and subsequent journey. It has Mortimer’s surreal whimsy running through and once it hits its stride it’s superb.

Having read his autobiography, I feel Mortimer doesn’t realise just how good a writer he is. The main character here is based on himself back at the same age complete with crippling shyness and loneliness. The writing occasionally lacks confidence, despite being excellent. It’s not quite the wall to wall silliness one would expect from him, the book deals with murder, corruption and relationship abuse but there’s more than enough daftness to keep Mortimer’s fans happy.

I look forward to his next novel. Hopefully this one will have given him a shot of confidence.