Book Review: Necropolis, by Guy Portman

Publication date:   24th April 2014

Necropolis Kindle CoverThe satirical Necropolis introduces us Dyson Devereux. Dyson works for the Department of Cremations and Burials where his promotion permits him to oversee a wide variety of grisly ‘tools of the trade’ and participate in work related situations that would see most people running for the hills. He also has an unusual coping mechanism of dealing with life’s irritating people – while they are completely oblivious of his loathing toward them, he fantasises about their timely demise (especially the serial-complaining ‘pigeon lady’).

So, we find this highly manipulative and strangely charming creature is fuelled by a general loathing of the human race. He’s a multi-lingual literary genius, who is immune to his colleague’s inane chatter and, let’s face it, their existence. Dyson showers them with appropriately staged compliments whenever it’s socially demanded and endeavours to keep his sardonic comments to a minimum. Yet on occasion his practised mask slips and the odd slur manages to crawl from between his lips while he casually passes the custard creams round.

With a passion for documentaries, particularly historically grim ones, Dyson believes that one of the war criminals featured in a recent TV programme is currently working for his ground maintenance team. This vague suspicion is the only motivation he needs to see justice served, not to mention the healthy reward on offer.

Embarking on a meticulously planned covert operation, while working to solve a curious problem between a drug dealing low-life and his addict neighbour (and casual girlfriend, Eva), plus keeping up appearances of actually giving a damn, all places added pressure on Dyson under which he appears to actively thrive. Oh, and there’s also a particularly graphic threesome, disdainful conversations over cadavers in the funeral parlour, and the inappropriate use of chemicals secreted from the store cupboard in the morgue.

I remain slightly troubled as to why I found myself applauding a sociopath for being so thoroughly entertaining. What conclusions you care to jump to following that particular admission I would ask you to kindly keep to yourselves!

All that is required to appreciate Necropolis is a moderately disturbed sense of humour, as its unflinching wry criticisms of human nature and near-the-knuckle undertone may not be suitable for the very easily offended. (Personally, I loved it!)

Rating: 4/5

(Source: Own copy, courtesy of a free download for this book from Amazon UK following a  generous ‘promotion’ by the author via Twitter.)

Necropolis Book Summary 1

(Courtesy of Amazon UK)

A black comedy of true distinction.

Dyson Devereux works in the Burials and Cemeteries department in his local council. Dyson is intelligent, incisive and informed. He is also a sociopath. Dyson’s contempt for the bureaucracy and banality of his workplace provides ample refuge for his mordant wit. But the prevalence of Essex Cherubs adorning the headstones of Newton New Cemetery is starting to get on his nerves.

When an opportunity presents itself will Dyson seize his chance and find freedom, or is his destiny to be a life of toil in Burials and Cemeteries?

Brutal, bleak and darkly comical, Necropolis is a savage indictment of the politically correct, health and safety-obsessed world in which we live.

‘Not only a funny, twisted, erudite satire on the psychopath genre, this novel also boasts a compelling plot and finely sculpted characters’

‘I was at once fascinated and disturbed by the devious Dyson Devereux with his malicious pedantry, wicked schemes and grotesque good taste. A barbed joy’

Crime Fiction Lover – ‘The book is full of razor-sharp satire. No politically correct madness escapes unscathed, and no sacred cow remains un-butchered and served up in freezer packs.’


Necropolis Author Profile 1

(Courtesy of Amazon UK)

As far back as anyone can remember Guy has been an introverted creature, with an insatiable appetite for knowledge, and a sardonic sense of humour.

Throughout a childhood in London spent watching cold war propaganda gems such as He Man, an adolescence confined in various institutions, and a career that has encompassed stints in academic research and the sports industry, Guy has been a keen if somewhat cynical social observer.

Humour of the sardonic variety is a reoccurring theme in much of Guy’s writing. His first novel, Charles Middleworth, is an insightful tale of the unexpected. The protagonist in his second novel, the satirical black comedy Necropolis, is, like the author, a darkly humorous individual – though, unlike the author, he is a psychopath.

His third novel, Symbiosis, is a psychological thriller about twins girls called Talulah and Taliah.

Guy has an informative and amusing blog –



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