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Editorial Reviews. From Publishers Weekly. Stone's adrenaline-packed debut is not for the faint of heart. Max Mingus, an ex-Miami cop and PI, wants to get his.
Table of contents

As we parted ways, never to meet again, he said:.


  • Mr Clarinet (Max Mingus, book 1) by Nick Stone.
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Very sad, I think. Where did all that potential go? What happened? And what does happen to youthful promise? Terry Flynt is a contradiction. On the outside, Terry appears to be a very conservative chap — loves his family, dotes on his kids and is a teetotaler.

An interview with Nick Stone, author of The Verdict

He still pines for his first love who dumped him. Terry is a loser in turnaround. He gets a second chance, but it comes at a price. What kind of research did you do for the book, and what is your writing process like?

Book review: Nick Stone's *Mr. Clarinet: The First Max Mingus Thriller*

I never saw any of them drunk. After three months, one of them asked me what I was doing, writing all the time. Have you always wanted to be a writer? Will you tell us more about yourself and your background? I pursued boxing quite seriously at amateur level in my teens until I got into Cambridge University. I was devastated at the time, but he was right. My father is from Glasgow, my mother from Haiti.

Mr. Clarinet

I was born in England, but was taken to Haiti to live with my grandparents when I was six months old. I have a younger brother, Seb, who is severely autistic.

My parents broke up in The divorce was one of those bitter, scorched earth ones, except there was a Kafkaesque twist to it too, because my father and mother ended up in litigation for the next 27 years. My paternal grandfather was a lawyer in Glasgow.

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He was a well-liked, well-respected officer. He died in action.

We look very alike. We have the same fixed stare. It was a fusion of noir and the vampire genre. Gritty and unremittingly dark, replete with supervillains, Mr Clarinet pays homage to pulp fiction and film noir. Perhaps more James Ellroy than Graham Greene, Mingus's scrapes in Port-au-Prince have an immediacy and an authenticity that are absent from many other thrillers. In one nightmarish scene Mingus carelessly wanders out of a bar and finds himself lost in a deserted district. When he refuses to give money to a shoeless kid, he is surrounded by a feral mob and has no choice but to open fire to avoid being ripped to pieces.

Perhaps some of that gripping, terrible reality comes from Stone's Haitian roots, having spent part of his childhood there his mother is Haitian, his father the historian Norman Stone. However, each word seems to have been considered carefully, evaluated for its overall impact, and then polished until it gives off its own brilliance.

Stone's chapters work like short stories or fictional vignettes, satisfying in their individual rights, but precisely woven together around the magnetic figure of Max Mingus. Clarinet is crime fiction at its artistic and engrossing zenith -- challenging, compelling and offering insights that burrow without fanfare or any warning into the reader's delicate psyche. The only problem I had with this work is that in closing it, I needed to take a long, cold shower, because the tale had left me feeling so damned grungy.

The last time I'd experienced that was the day I turned over the final page of Thomas Harris' seminal work, Red Dragon , which introduced cannibalistic killer Dr. Hannibal Lecter. Ali Karim is an industrial chemist, freelance journalist and book reviewer living in England. In addition to being a contributing editor at January Magazine , he's also the assistant editor of the e-zine Shots , writes for Deadly Pleasures and Crimespree magazines, and is an associate member and literary judge for both the British Crime Writers Association and The International Thriller Writers Inc.

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Karim is currently working on Black Operations , a violent techno-thriller. Trust me when I say that this is one very scary, but unputdownable tome.

However, it has also cost several previous detectives dearly, as Mingus discovers in the opening scene: "There's one other thing," Carver said when he'd finished talking. Make that very dangerous.


  1. Mr. Clarinet: A Novel (Max Mingus Thriller) - AbeBooks - Nick Stone: .
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  4. Things didn't turn out too right for them. Carver's face turned grim and his skin lost a little of its color. Much worse.