Genre: Fiction
Published: 1 February 2005
Publisher: Serpent's Tail
International Rights have been sold to France/Esprit des Peninsules

The Last Llanelli Train

by Robert Lewis

Robin Llewellyn is a Bristol-based private investigator who likes a drink and who specialises in entrapments. So far, so genre. However Llewellyn is a spectacular, listless drunk. He will never really understand the true nature of his current assignment, which is to entrap a certain Mr Dixon, because there’s not much to learn about it inside the four walls of a pub or a betting shop. THE LAST LLANELLI TRAIN is an intricate portrait of a man hanging onto his sense of identity. Llewellyn’s mind is full of the dark wisecracks of his trade, but they never see the light of day; instead, he uses them to taunt himself, a man increasingly aware that repenting your past doesn’t necessarily bring redemption.

"What startles about THE LAST LLANELLI TRAIN is the confidence and maturity of the voice; it's intriguing how one so young has managed to mix Ellroy, Chandler, Derek Raymond, even shades of Beckett.... It's an incredible feat.... Rob Lewis displays a fascinating familiarity with and knowledge of not just drinking and the frenzy of sexual yearnings but also, and most powerfully, the ineffable sadnesses of the world. That he also manages to make us laugh out loud amongst all this anguish is a minor miracle." - Niall Griffiths
"Another new Welsh crime writer, another private eye (albeit operating on the seedy side of Bristol) and another winner... At times sordid, sometimes funny, occasionally bleak and sinister, this is a powerful if disenchanted journey, with echoes of Chandler, of course, but also of great mavericks such as James Crumley, Ellroy and Derek Raymond. Wonderfully misanthropic and sad." - Maxim Jakubowski, The Guardian
"As a first novel it is quite an achievement; the writing is assured and confident, the humour gentle and dark, the plot classically private eye with the expected twists and double-dealings... It is a total gem; it kills dead the cliché alkie gumshoe for once and for all and breathes more new life into the crime genre, which for me just continues to blossom." - The Barcelona Review
"A jet-black comedy about an ageing and alcoholic misanthropic private eye in a debut novel emulating and updating the vintage hard-boiled style of Hammett and Chandler." - Western Daily Press (Bristol)
"It’s Bukowski’s PULP gone West Country." - Uncut
"This debut from a talented young Welsh writer brings the detective genre bang up to date... An entertaining mix of classic noir with a twist of black comedy." - South Wales Evening Post
"As a thriller, this has the requisite plot-twists, drama and sense of brooding danger and evil; as an anatomy of melancholy and addiction it could hardly be beaten." - The Crack

Other Books by Robert Lewis