cover image Swansea Terminal

Swansea Terminal

Robert Lewis, . . Serpent?s Tail, $14.95 (266pp) ISBN 978-1-85242-975-1

In Lewis’s wryly amusing, darkly contemplative sequel to The Last Llanelli Train , ex-PI Robin Llywelyn is down and out in Swansea, only interested in maintaining a steady pint-after-pint existence until he dies. Middle-aged, homeless and of course alcoholic, the former sleuth nicknamed “Magnum” has been diagnosed with lung cancer. When Llywelyn gets pulled into an elaborate smuggling scheme as a front man, the crime element muscles its way back into the plot alongside the drinking. “Naturally, as I’d just been given a couple of thousand pounds by a psychopath to buy a machine gun, I ended up in the pub,” observes the luckless Llywelyn. Riffing off Chandler’s classic bit in The Long Goodbye about the lonely drunk you’ll find in every bar in the world, Lewis uses his fallen hero to delve deeply into the contemporary Welsh scene, like a coal miner tracing a vanishing vein of ore. (July)