Needless Alley



What’s the story?

Birmingham, 1933. Private inquiry agent William Garrett, a man damaged by shell-shock and a working-class childhood, specialises in facilitating the divorce cases of Birmingham’s elite by photographing adulterers in flagrant. This is despite the fact that he heaves his guts up with remorse after every job.

With the help of his best friend – charming, out-of-work actor Ronnie Edgerton – William organises a honey trap for Clara Moreton, the wife of a leading fascist. Although William’s burgeoning romantic feelings for Clara mean he immediately regrets this decision, the entrapment goes ahead with deadly results, and William finds both Ronnie and Clara brutally murdered in a hotel bedroom.

Their deaths motivate William into a Chandleresque journey to uncover a network of illicit photoshoots and upper-class corruption. His investigation takes him back to the seedy canal-side pubs of his youth, the crumbling manor houses of 1930s Warwickshire, and into the less familiar hidden spaces of the city’s queer, bohemian society.

Publisher – John Murray Press

3 reasons why you should adapt this book into a TV series ?

  • For its great setting, strong cast and gripping plot
  • For the way it tackles dark subject matter in a sensitive tone
  • For its modern take on gender and class issues


Natalie Marlow



Natalie Marlow holds an MA in Creative Writing (Crime Writing) from the University of East Anglia and is currently studying for a PhD at Birkbeck, University of London.

United Kingdom
Natalie Marlow
Thriller, Investigation

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