This debut novel from Dominic Kearney is set in Liverpool in 2007 with the city gearing up towards The Capital Of Culture. It’s a crime thriller focusing on the darker side of some of the cities activities during this time.

The story revolves around two female journalists, one at the start of her career, looking for a big story to boost herself up the career ladder, and an older journo who has had a colourful career, also in need of helping hand to get her career and life back on track. And a big story does come their way as both women’s stories end up intertwined in order to solve a grisly murder and uncover some dark secrets.  

The importance of the title Cast Iron Men, clearly referring to Anthony Gormleys, Crosby-based structures, becomes clear about three quarters of the way through the book and marks an important part of the action.  It’s a gripping novel, where the two lead female characters are well developed and you do care about their own personal journeys throughout the book. It’s a fast paced, gritty crime novel and one that is hard to put down.

The pull of this book for Liverpudlians will be the fact that with the action set in Liverpool it’s easy to immerse yourself into the action and visualise where the action is taking place. Much like when you watch a tv show or film which is set or at least partly set in Liverpool there’s a certain draw in recognising where the characters are and it makes the drama feel all the more real. Even if you’re not local, this is a hugely enjoyable book and an impressive debut novel.