EXCERPT: As soon as he hobbled in, he knew there was something off. A strange look from a young bedraggled girl as she glanced up from her phone; a couple of others going quiet as he shuffled past them in the entrance hall. When he walked into the dining room everything went quieter still until someone in the queue dropped a tray on the floor and the loud clatter broke the silence.
Jimmy looked over and saw Gadge staring at him, seemingly oblivious to the food he had dropped over his feet and the floor.
‘F**k me,’ Gadge said. ‘You can’t be here.’
‘Why not?’ Jimmy said.
ABOUT THIS BOOK: It started with a splash. Jimmy, a homeless veteran grappling with PTSD, did his best to pretend he hadn’t heard it – the sound of something heavy falling into the Tyne at the height of an argument between two men on the riverbank. Not his fight.
Then he sees the headline: GIRL IN MISSING DAD PLEA. The girl, Carrie, reminds him of someone he lost, and this makes his mind up: it’s time to stop hiding from his past. But telling Carrie, what he heard – or thought he heard – turns out to be just the beginning of the story.
The police don’t believe him, but Carrie is adamant that something awful has happened to her dad and Jimmy agrees to help her, putting himself at risk from enemies old and new.
But Jimmy has one big advantage: when you’ve got nothing, you’ve got nothing to lose.
MY THOUGHTS: Everyone has a story, which is something we tend to forget. And the people we tend to dismiss most easily, the ‘invisible’ people, the homeless, often have the most interesting stories. This is certainly the case with Jimmy who, for many years, has lived by the mantra of ‘not my fight’, and ‘keep your head down and stay out of sight.’ Life hasn’t exactly been fair to him. He has lost everything that was precious to him…his wife, his daughter, his self-respect.
All Carrie wants is her dad. He is missing, but no one is taking her seriously. But her plight strikes a chord with Jimmy who would love to be wanted by his daughter. And he thinks he saw something the night Carrie’s dad went missing. But he’s not entirely sure. It could have been a hallucination. But then, maybe not….
We hear so much about war vets winding up on the streets, homeless victims of the horrors they have lived through. Jimmy’s plight has brought home to me the absolute reality and the terrible injustice of this problem.
Trevor Wood has created some very interesting characters. Not only Jimmy who suffers from PTSD, but Gadge, bordering on genius, and the young Deano, a child really, substance and drug abuser. But all people with good hearts. Their methods of getting to the truth may be somewhat unorthodox, but they make for a damned good read. Even the skeptical policeman, Murphy, is an interesting character.
Compelling and complex, I really had no idea who was behind the disappearance of Carries dad, or why, until all was revealed. Highly recommended.
THE AUTHOR: I can find no information on this author, but I believe will be hearing more from him. Hopefully soon.
DISCLOSURE: Thank you to Quercus Books via NetGalley for providing a digital ARC of The Man on the Street by Trevor Wood for review. All opinions expressed in this review are entirely my own.
For an explanation of my rating system, please refer to my Goodreads.com profile page, or the about page on sandysbookaday.wordpress.com
This review and others are also published on Twitter, Amazon and