Great review of First Dead Body in ‘Magazine of the Year 2014’

Page 55 of artsbeat, September 2014 ( – Magazine of the Year in the Midlands Media Awards 2014
Former reporter
publishes debut
crime novel
Reviewed by Guy Cooper, new books manager, Scarthin Books, Cromford
This is the first novel by ex-journalist Richard Cox and is a crime story set in Derby in the early 1970s.
Simon Jardine is a young reporter and is paired with seasoned crime reporter Dave Green.
The dead body in question is that of a young man whose death appears suspicious. Dave knows the victim and his mother well and, as they investigate a story of corruption and further crime emerges involving a prominent local gay businessman and his company’s operations in building the new ring road around Derby.
Dave Green has his own reasons for being interested in the family of the dead boy, whose father, an ex-convict works for the construction company and seems to be hiding something from his wife.
Colonel Hamilton-Pocklington, the local businessman, also has his own secrets to protect and finds himself being blackmailed. The reporters pursue the story in the smoky pubs and local jazz scene in Derby, looking at links between the construction firm and the local council.
Things begin to unravel culminating in an exciting car chase across Derby.
This is a good, gripping read and, as an ex-journalist, Tony Cox provides a very interesting angle on the crime novel by basing it around reporters rather than police and the 1970s setting is well drawn, with pubs, live music and attitudes to gay people convincingly written.
This is certainly a promising start to a planned series featuring Simon Jardine and I look forward to the next one.
First Dead Body (The Choir Press. Pb, £6.99)

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