The writing is taut, the characters well drawn, and the dialogue sharp. Nigel Bird gets everything right, but the thing that makes this novella is the set-up. It's a great idea, and like a lot of good stories, Nigel knows to start writing at the point in the story that could already have spawned a novel.
A slight over-reaction from his boss sees London gangster Archie with a bullet in his brain. Didn't kill him, mind, just left him in a chair, paralysed from the neck down, only able to communicate in a series of tediously slow blinks. And thus our story starts...
Fortunately, Archie has his wife Liza to look after him. Unfortunately, with a bullet in the brain he's quite forgotten where he hid the money he collected right before the 'incident'. And, despite support from the repentant boss - the titular and wholly repugnant Mr Suit - quite how much longer Liza can put up with the situation is another question.
As bad luck turns to worse, Nigel Bird sends the unlikely couple careening across London, helped or impeded by their hapless children. Half comic and half tragic, the story is tight and well-written, and certainly lives up to the promise of the premise, if you see what I mean. It's less gritty than some of his other work, but Mr Suit is a wholly original take on the London crime scene. Highly recommended.