A first collection from a new voice in crime fiction. Christborne Shillingford’s short stories have an anarchic style chronicling the Caribbean adventures of a very amateur private detective whose special knack is getting in (and out of) street scrapes.
He escapes from drug dens, bent policemen, ghosts, disdainful girlfriends and crazy dogs. These are crime tales from “the block” – a modern, irreverent look straight from the streets of Dominica.
An original and stimulating debut. The narratives are steeped in Caribbean storytelling traditions which Shillingford exploits to deliver penetrating insights on the joys and sorrows of life.
– Mike Phillips, winner of the Crime Writers’ Association Macallan Silver Dagger for Fiction
Most Wanted is a compelling collection of crime stories that whisks you away from the package holiday images of sun, sea and sand to the gritty underbelly and back alleys of Dominica. Shillingford expertly uses the inventive, direct and witty language of the Caribbean to create a realistic portrayal of life that ranges from disputes in the dance hall to the hunt to score drugs, from the holy rituals of a group of Rastas to the dangers of venturing into the notorious Block 44.
Shillingford understands all of his characters and paints a lasting portrait of each on the page. And ultimately the standout character in this collection is Dominica itself.
The humour made me both chuckle and laugh out loud. What lifts this collection above the usual bang-bang crime story is its attempt to unpick the bigger issues facing the Caribbean. Shillington deftly and confidently creates stories, which are concerned with dealing with the effects of crime on people’s lives.
Christborne Shillingford is an exciting and unique addition to the genre.
– Dreda Say Mitchell, author of Running Hot, winner of the Crime Writers’ Association’s John Creasey Memorial Dagger