Reviewed by Jennifer Jackson

Harry Thorpe and Christian Marquand are two sides of the same coin. Both served their country in an epic war and both have experienced an altered reality since returning home. For Christian, the ‘Mighty Marquand’, military service has elevated his status and prospects, leaving him with a family, a fortune and a future in politics. Thorpe hasn’t fared quite as well. He barely makes ends meet working as a private detective investigating the uninspiring world of marital infidelity. When Marquand offers Thorpe a job with a handsome salary, Thorpe accepts the offer reluctantly, knowing exactly the kind of arrogant and deceptive man he is dealing with. What begins as a series of threatening letters to Marquand turns into something more sinister, and somebody is going to have to pay.

Firmly in the crime noir genre, Tony Kelsey’s novel sketches a darkly accurate portrait of recently civilianized GI’s and the scars they bear. Marquand and Torpe are more crass than class, but the late 1940s time period of post war growth and decadence is tempered with mobsters, political dissidents and double crossing associates. While the story arc is not entirely unpredictable, many explosive surprises add plenty of shocking diversions along the way. The abundant action and suspense grip readers from the first paragraph, so you know exactly what you’re in for in this grim crime-drama. Packed with intriguing characters and jaw-dropping crimes, Once A Man Indulges is a piece so realistic you’ll be able to taste the cigarettes and black coffee.