Blog Tour | Needle Song #review

This is my first tour with damppebbles blog tours and what a great book to get started with before you hear my thoughts here is what Needle Song is about.

needle song

Spending the night with a beautiful woman would be a good alibi, if the body in the next room wasn’t her husband.

Doc Slidesmith has a habit of knowing things he shouldn’t. He knows the woman Chris Rudjer meets online is married. He knows the adult fun she’s looking for is likely to be short lived. And when her husband’s killed, he knows Chris Rudjer didn’t do it.

Only trouble is the police disagree and no one wants to waste time investigating an open and shut case.

No one except Doc.

Using lies, blackmail and a loaded pack of Tarot cards, Doc sets about looking for the truth – but the more truth he finds, the less he thinks his friend is going to like it.

Amazon UK | Goodreads | Amazon US | Fahrenheit Press


After signing up for the tour by the time I got round to reading the book I had kind of forgotten what it was about but what I got was something totally unexpected.

I feel like somehow if you told me all the separate component parts of this story I would be a little unsure how well it would go together but it is sheer brilliance. A crime book unlike anything I have read before, Needle Song isn’t a fast action type with lots of ever-changing suspects, it is instead a smooth slow burn kind of book that manages to lure you into its clutches without even having to try.

A bit like it’s main character Doctor Slidesmith, I could read about him all day. I loved that he was the type of character that people would underestimate but that he was actually a multi-faceted person and much more than he appeared. I really enjoyed the Voodoo influence I didn’t really know much about it before but it was interesting and I liked how it played into the story.

Yakky his tattoo apprentice turned partner and the narrator of the story is another brilliant character, not very swayed by Doc’s beliefs but willing to play his part to help out a friend. He is still somewhat enigmatic even though you are hearing the story from him which I like, definitely made me more curious about him. I like that he was almost the voice of reason but then was also occasionally the wild card.

The plot was very clever, it doesn’t rely on shocking reveals but instead focuses more on the human element and builds up the tension through manipulation and misdirection. I mean I did wonder at one point if it was even possible to conclude the story in a way that would leave me satisfied but I needn’t have worried.

This is an amazing debut, I can’t wait to see what’s next in store for Doc Slidesmith but will be keeping an eye out for any Russell Day books from now on.



If you want to find out more about the book then have a look at the other stops on the tour.

Needle song banner

Russell Day was born in 1966 and grew up in Harlesden, NW10 – a geographic region searching for an alibi. From an early age it was clear the only things he cared about were motorcycles, tattoos and writing. At a later stage he added family life to his list of interests and now lives with his wife and two children. He’s still in London, but has moved south of the river for the milder climate.

Although he only writes crime fiction Russ doesn’t consider his work restricted. ‘As long as there have been people there has been crime, as long as there are people there will be crime.’ That attitude leaves a lot of scope for settings and characters. One of the first short stories he had published, The Second Rat and the Automatic Nun, was a double-cross story set in a world where the church had taken over policing. In his first novel, Needle Song, an amateur detective employs logic, psychology and a loaded pack of tarot cards to investigate a death.

Russ often tells people he seldom smiles due to nerve damage, sustained when his jaw was broken. In fact, this is a total fabrication and his family will tell you he has always been a miserable bastard.

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