I've written before about Ted Lewis - see me reviews of GBH and Plender, below - but this is the book that led to those books being republished as No Exit titles. That alone warrants bonus points to Nick Triplow, who also introduced the aforementioned. To save time scrolling, I was staggered by the brilliance of GBH, less so by Plender.
This critical biography of the forgotten author falls somewhere between the two. It is absolutely thorough on the life, but is shackled by the fact that Lewis was a pretty appalling person who had talent in abundance but drank it all away. Far more interesting for me is Triplow's recreation of Hull and Humberside during Lewis's two periods of residence. I was resident there between times and Triplow's account rings pitch perfect to me.
I also thoroughly enjoyed his assessments of the books and the field of pre-Lewis British noir crime fiction. In summary then, a significant book which adds additional depth to the novels. It's just a shame about Lewis himself.