Lee Bullman: Twenty Sixteen

This review is written with thanks to SpellBound Books for my copy of Twenty Sixteen.


Two murders, committed over three decades apart, set in motion a modern noir detective story that plays out against the chaos of a Britain at odds with itself.

As Brexit bites and Britain begins to tear itself apart, DI Reider returns from a manhunt in Europe with a bullet hole in his shoulder and decides it’s time to retire from the force. But Reider hasn’t counted on his first case coming back to haunt him. He hasn’t counted on his career going full circle and he definitely hasn’t counted on Sasha Haye.

Angry and heartbroken, Sasha is seeking answers about the death of her boyfriend and Reider might just be the only person who can help her find them.

Against the backdrop of the referendum and its aftermath, the pair embark on a journey that brings them into contact with extremism, celebrity, politics and the world of vintage porn, as they attempt to unravel a murderous knot with threads that lead into the dark heart of the establishment, and a past which has a cold and unrelenting grip on the present.


2016 was an important year, both culturally and politically. There were a few high profile celebrity deaths, Brexit and the election of Donald Trump and it was interesting to read a novel that was set against this backdrop. Bullman does this well and I was immediately taken to the Soho streets. 

The plot of Twenty Sixteen isn’t the fast paced murder investigation I was expecting, which may have been in part because I read it in smaller sections over seven days rather than in a few sittings. However, this didn’t mean it wasn’t enjoyable. I was intrigued and I was excited by each new reveal because I wanted to know how the plot would come together. 

The slower pace of the novel does give Bullman the opportunity to build the characters and allow the reader to get to know them better. I liked the relationship between Reider and Sasha, and as individuals, it is clear that they have both lived colourful lives. I enjoyed the way that this was explored as it helped me to feel the emotions alongside the characters. 

Twenty Sixteen definitely offers something different to this genre and I am interested to see what the author does next. 

Twenty Sixteen is available from Amazon.

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