REVIEW: Saturday Night Jack, by Dylan Dronfield.

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A KILLER is stalking Newcastle’s clubland murdering young women before disappearing without a trace.

The police are baffled, but the media is having a field day … in particular, local crime reporter Mick Rogers who has dubbed the attacker Saturday Night Jack.

As the murders mount, the copper leading the hunt, detective Simon Sharpe, comes under increasing pressure to bring the serial killer to justice.

Both Sharpe and Rogers have differing agendas but find themselves working together in a bid to snare the killer who is becoming more daring and more violent as the weekends pass.

Dylan Dronfield’s first novel is set in familiar territory. As a former newspaper reporter who worked the Tyneside beat, he understands the workings of the modern newsroom and the mores of Newcastle’s particular, and often peculiar, nightlife.

Dronfield gives the reader an insight into mindset of the hard-living hack fighting against authority, his bosses, and looming deadlines to get the big news for his readers.

Drawing on his experiences of dealing with the police on major crime stories, Dronfield thrusts the reader into the heart of a harrowing murder investigation that has a distinct ring of authenticity.

Those who have enjoyed the occasional night out in Newcastle will find the name-checked pubs and clubs comforting: the rising body count of the city’s young clubbers less so.

Dronfield’s first novel has been 14 years in the making … here’s hoping the next is a little quicker onto the bookshelves.

Richard Ord

(Saturday Night Jack is published by Matador, priced £8.99. Available at Amazon and on iTunes)