With a new printing of Britten and Brulightly recently in store again, wrapped in a rather striking new cover, it seems like a good time to say a few words about Hannah Berry's highly recommended crime noir tale.
Painted in grey tones giving the feel of an old film noir except that Berry has the luxury of muted colours. She lifts the rain-soaked panels with faces that unexpectedly play with caricature. The protagonist - private detective Britten - looks as if he is wearing a mask which accentuates his inability to summon up any emotion beyond withered cynicism - his nickname of The Heartbreaker becomes a twisted joke.
What's most impressive is the way Berry treats us to all the ingredients of crime noir without lapsing into parody. It's a well-worn genre but this story feels at home in this strongly evoked setting. The sort of book you could recommend to graphic novel virgins. The back of the book sings with praises from the broadsheets so you don't just have to take our word for it. SLS