Sean Ward

Created by Cathi Unsworth

SEAN WARD‘s a former London cop whose career abruptly ended when he was shot by a teenage drug dealer. Now he works as a private eye in Cathi Unworth’s moody, noirish Weirdo (2013). In it, he heads to Ernemouth, a small Norfolk seaside resort town, to work a twenty-year old cold case that saw a then-fifteen year old girl, local misfit Corrine Woodrow, convicted of the murder of a classmate. New evidence suggests she might be innocent — or at least didn’t act alone, but the good citizens of the town don’t agree.

The plot swings back and forth between Ward’s investigation in 2003 and the real circumstances of the crime in the mid-eighties, which sees Corrine being singled out mostly for being “odd.”

The author, who has been dubbed “Queen of Noir” in her native U.K., also edited Akashic’s London Noir (2006). Also recommended: “Trouble in a Lonesome Town,” in that collection, which features Dougie, a former thief now working as a “private eye for the sort of people who couldn’t go to the police.”


  • “To her brilliant evocation of time and place, Unsworth adds disturbing insight into the minds of disaffected youth.”
    — The London Times
  • “Unsworth casts a stark light on the unjust treatment doled out to the odd and the transgressive, in particular to women trapped in a hostile, patriarchal world. Unpleasant without being exploitative, the novel is a worthy showcase for the author’s undeniable skill.”
    — Publisher’s Weekly
  • “There is no one in US crime fiction who writes the way that (Unsworth) does: she’s intensely interested in history, gender, and subcultures.”
    The Great Hipster Mystery (CrimeReads, April 2019)


Respectfully submitted by Kevin Burton Smith.

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