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Gently Go Man
The Inspector George Gently Case Files - Book IX
Alan Hunter

Robinson (Constable and Robinson)
3 November 2011 / ISBN: 9781780331485
Mystery / 1961 - Contemporary / Norfolk, England /
Amazon US - UK

Reviewed by Rachel A Hyde

Latchford is a nowhere sort of place, much of it hastily built to house people bombed out during the recent war. But it possesses a straight patch of road that is ideal for bikers doing the "ton" and which has become quite a focus of biker culture. One night, one of their number is killed and at first many people think it is just a tragic accident. When evidence is found to point to murder, it is time for Superintendent George Gently to come up from the Smoke and investigate.

Back to the wilds of Norfolk this time, and some more evocative descriptions of a place with ancient ties to its prehistoric past. I think the true appeal of this book lies in its wonderful snapshot of the biker culture of the early 60s, a time of disaffected youth listening to jazz and smoking joints, milk bars and coffee bars, fast bikes, and Jack Kerouac. This is social history at its most fun and accessible and it is all beautifully brought to life by Mr. Hunter, writing at the time it was current. Of course there is a plot too but it is rather too easy to guess; you read this one for just about everything else in it. Well paced and interspersed with patches of biker writing complete with its unique terms, this is a novel that tends to stay in the mind afterwards for its descriptions of a particular place and time.

Other reviews in this series

Gently Does It - Book I
Gently by the ShoreBook II
Gently Down The Stream Book III
Landed Gently Book IV
Gently Through the Mill - Book V
Gently In The SunBook VI
Gently With The Painters Book VII
Gently To The Summit Book VIII
Gently Go Man - Book IX
Gently Where The Roads Go – Book X
Gently Floating - Book XI
Gently Sahib - Book XII
Gently With The Ladies - Book XIII
Gently Northwest - Book XV
Gently Continental - Book XVI
Gently With The Innocents - Book XVII

Reviewed 2012