Darkly comic, stylish and violent, Vinnie Got Blown Away offers a radical contrast from the British tradition of a murder mystery among the middle classes. It mixes without discrimination among black, white and Asian communities; it follows their speech patterns: cockney and Caribbean unite. It demonstrates the resilience in these communities, an ability to survive against all outside pressures and values.
Nicky Burkett finds his childhood friend Vinnie dead at the bottom of a tower block. He and his mates have a code of conduct which makes revenge inevitable. They have to find the villains - much more serious criminals than themselves - and then they have to take them on. The result is a hilarious hybrid of Elmore Leonard and Quentin Tarantino, with dialogue that crackles off the page and a wonderfully authentic sense of place.
Brilliantly reviewed on its initial release in 1995, Vinnie Got Blown Away holds a unique place in the British crime fiction canon, and is ripe for rediscovery by a new generation of readers.
'Audacious and outrageous.' Daily Telegraph
'Jaunty, exhilarating and original, with a feeling for street life that renders it sexy and poignant.' Literary Review
'A fast, funny trawl through the territory of London's new outlaw underclass. It is a masterly piece of storytelling.' Financial Times
'A short, sharp shock of a novel.' GQ
'Funny, violent and vivid.' Sunday Times