Most Wanted

Street Stories from the Caribbean

Christborne Shillingford
Publication date: October 2007
Paperback: 160 pages
ISBN: 9780953222438
Price: £6.99
also an ebook
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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.

Reviews

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

We were in a popular bar drinking our weekend waters when one of
my colleagues mentioned a “David”. That name triggered a chain
reaction and my thoughts started to reverse down memory lane and
my last encounter with a “David” became vivid like it was yesterday.
There had been this “David” with a notorious reputation. The first
thing we had heard about him was that he had killed a man twice his
size while still a teenager. So, when the news broke that David was
coming to our town, we did not know how to cope. We were
unprepared. Some thought he was bluffing and that he would not
have the audacity to show his face. Little did we know that he would
really come. Some even thought that if he dared to come we would
make a pre-emptive strike and stop him dead in his tracks. We trusted
in our mountains – our first line of defence.
That mystic day opened with no hint as to what was to happen
later down. The first sign that this David was really coming to town
occurred in the morning when I saw the seagulls that would normally
be flying out at sea, virtually walking up inland for shelter. (The winds
were getting too difficult to fly against.) Oh ho, you know now which
David I referring to!
We thought we could handle David. His radical cousin, Hurricane
Jannette, had passed so long ago that we couldn’t remember what
she did. So we were complacent. That is why a couple of friends and
I (we were young and careless at the time) went driving around the
city poking fun at those who took the threat seriously. We had no idea
what was to come.

Extract from “Return of David”, one of Shillingford’s heavy-duty comic stories.