No surprise there, perhaps. Hodges, who began his movie career directing Get Carter in 1971, published Watching the Wheels ... , his first novel at age 77 and one of the first two titles from Maxim Jakubowski's Max Crime imprint.
I don't quite know why, but I find passages like this beguiling:
Alone, in a long black dress on a tall black bar stool, sits Ursula Letts. Everything about her, from the cut of her hair to the shape of her shoes, radiates style and originality. Even the stigma of a lazy right eye suits her quirky style. Ursula is a primary-school teacher. She also has the dubious honor of being Mark's childhood sweetheart and very first lover. Unfortunately for her, the affair won't quite lie down and die.It's an odd story involving a faded seaside resort, a plucky public relations man who lives in his office, a fascistic cult leader, a down-at-the-heels detective, and a latter-day Houdini who, at the point I have reached, has vanished into the ocean chained in a trunk.
Here are two more bits I've liked:
He picks up the evil-looking burger. "Jesus, it couldn't be more dangerous than this."and
He thinks about taking another bite but decides against it. Instead, he watches Ursula walk out of his life. The waitress moves in to clear the table.
When conferences began to replace communities, every seaside resort in the country built a centre for them. These centres, with the greedy fingerprints of local burghers all over them, were inevitably portentous, ugly and erected on a prime location where nobody could ignore them. ... Conferences make the world go round or, more exactly, give the appearance of making it go around. Like careousels, things tend to end up pretty much where they started.© Peter Rozovsky 2010