Friday, 5 April 2019

The Nudge Man by Keith Nixon

It really is a pleasure to take part in the blog tour for the new book by one of my fave people. I have read most of Keith's crime fiction books and enjoyed all of them. So I was delighted to be asked to read this one, the first in a new series featuring Harry Vaughan. Huge thanks to Sarah Hardy at Books On The Bright Side Tours for inviting me and providing my review book. I have since bought my own copy.

The Blurb:

A washed up reporter, an escaped convict, a sociopathic gangster. All are hunting The Nudge Man…

“There’s only one of me. I’m not a hitman. I’m unique, one of a kind. I’m The Nudge Man.”

Wheelchair bound, born again, ex-gangster, Eric Hennessey offers down on his luck reporter, Harrison Vaughan, a job. Find The Nudge Man, a mysterious vigilante who’s stolen most of Hennessey’s money, ill-gotten gains which now Hennessey wants to use to do God’s work. Trouble is, Harry has no desire to work for a sociopathic murderer, even if he is an apparently changed man.

Harry is estranged from his family, he hasn’t seen or heard from them in over five years, since a fabricated scandal destroyed his career. Harry believes his wife walked out on him and took the children. However, Hennessey tells Vaughan it was The Nudge Man who set him up for the fall. Find The Nudge Man and Harry has the chance for redemption and maybe even his family back.

However, Hennessey has another objective in mind. Unknown to Harry his family were taken into witness protection and had to cut ties with everyone after Harry’s son saw a murder – carried out by Eric Hennessey. But the witness protection programme was compromised and the Vaughans had to go off the grid, they couldn’t contact anybody. Hennessey has been looking for them ever since and now may have a way in – Harry himself.

Harry’s search begins in prison, visiting violent criminal Pomfrey Lavender – apparently Lavender has information which will help. But Lavender is suffering various medical problems, including a psychological condition whereby he believes he’s already dead. Harry’s mention of The Nudge Man sends Lavender into a rage and he threatens to kill Harry should he pursue his objective. Harry is relieved Lavender is behind bars. Trouble is, two days later Lavender breaks out.

And others are on the trail of The Nudge Man, including the British government and an American secret service agent. Then there’s the lawyer who offers Harry £1m. All Harry has to do is stay away from The Nudge Man...

"Packed with the author’s trademark wit, The Nudge Man is a seriously good, mind-bendingly twisty novel, and cements Nixon’s place among the upper echelon of British crime writers."
M.W. Craven, author of the Washington Poe Novels.

The Nudge Man was published by Gladius Press on 2nd April 2019 and you can purchase it here.

My Review:

I really enjoyed Nixon's Solomon Gray series (so far) and I love the Konstanstin books that I've read so far, so I was thrilled to discover he was starting another series with a brand new character.

Harry Vaughan is a down on his luck, down at heel (judging by the pub he drinks in!) reporter, with pretty much no money. He has not been in contact with his family for over five years since his wife left him following a made up scandal which targeted him, and he doesn't even know where they are.

Seemingly reformed gangster Eric Hennessey persuades Harry to look for The Nudge Man, a mysterious individual who, for money, 'influences' people and situations to force a particular outcome. Hennessey tells Harry that it was The Nudge Man who was behind his fall from grace. Various other people, British and American, also want Harry to find The Nudge Man, and there's a lawyer who will pay him to do exactly the opposite...

The book is set roughly in the same area as Keith's other books, although we do visit a few other places in this book, and it's a bit of the country I have never visited, but I really feel I have - the descriptions are so good. It was also nice to see a couple of characters from the other books pop up.

Vaughan is easily likeable - he's affable and non threatening, and 'acquires' a brilliant sidekick in Bonzo the dog, who is in danger of stealing every scene he's in! So they make for a lovable pair, and you just can't help rooting for them, despite the huge odds against them. Hennessey is also a fabulous character, but because he's so unlikeable. He's apparently found religion, but you get the impression that nothing sincere comes out of his mouth. He made my skin crawl a little bit.

As with the Konstantin books, the chapters are short and snappy with brilliant titles - 'The Not So Private Dick', 'A Sticky Ending' and 'Monkey Nuts' being my personal favourites. There are also a couple of class character names - I mean, Pomfrey Lavender! So funny. And there is dark humour running all the way through - usually from Harry. The book is written in the first person from his point of view so we know his thoughts as well as what he says. I love this injection of comedy.

The Nudge Man is well written, fun, pacey, twisty and action packed as we follow Harry's search for the identity of  the Nudge Man. I kept trying to guess - absolutely didn't get it. And can I just mention Guy Gregory - another character for me to be a bit in love with!

Another fabulous offering from Nixon, and I can't wait to see what Harry Vaughan and Bonzo (I hope) get up to next!

The Author:

Keith Nixon is a British born writer of crime and historical fiction novels. Originally, he trained as a chemist, but Keith is now in a senior sales role for a high-tech business. Keith currently lives with his family in the North West of England. 

Readers can connect with Keith on various social media platforms:
Twitter: @knntom
Facebook: Keithnixonauthor


  1. Thanks for the great review and for being part of the blog tour Suze x