Book, Crime, Mystery

The Tattoo Murder by Bob Brill

A Cleverly Crafted Story!

Karen’s Magic Review

I posted about this book on my blog previously and knew I would read it at some point. It took me by surprise with its crime noir style, and Bob Brill’s clever descriptions made it easy to envision the actions of the characters.

I loved the setting and that the main character was a surfer who liked nothing more than to take to the ocean to wash away the stress of his day.

One scene in the story particularly amused me. The FBI were in a meeting with local detectives as their cases had acrimoniously crossed. Our hero, John Potenza, quoted a line from an old movie. One of the feds instantly recognised it. The meeting was forgotten for a moment as they discussed movies, before carrying on.

There were a number of deliberately clichèd scenes in this story. I enjoyed the humour of them because it is what set it apart from a normal crime story.

Another unusual occurrence in the book, was part way through. A few pages were dedicated to photographs showing where particular instances took place. An enjoyable pause to the story.

The plot was well thought out, and I liked that it was different. As it drew to a close, it led to an exciting climax with a well constructed ending.

Having said that, the writing style did make me feel like an outsider observing it with slight detachment.

Detective John Potenza was portrayed like the detectives of old, in a modern day setting.

The Tattoo Murder reminded me very much of the Mickey Spillane’s Mike Hammer novels I read back in the seventies and eighties. For those who love this kind of crime-noir, are going to really love this story.


“The Tattoo Murder” is the story of a U-S Army combat veteran who became a police officer back in his home town after he’d seen enough injustice in the world.

A different kind of cop, Det. John Potenza travels to the tune of his own drum, the waves which he loves to surf, the women who occupy his life and the music which drives him. All this is secondary to getting it right when it comes to justice. An Italian-American who knows his way around the kitchen, the fit and trim with comic book hero good looks catches the eye of almost every woman he meets. If he were British he’d probably be in “her Majesty’s Secret Service” with a Double-O in his name.

Many of the characters in the book are derived from Bob Brill’s own past and acquaintances and friends and while the book is a work of fiction, the people are real – well sort of.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.