I’ve talked about this book before but I didn’t go into masses of detail. Now I have the chance to and I’d like to express my love eternal for this author and his mastery of all things gross and minging.
I’m not a squeamish person, not by a long shot, but as I read this book during my lunch hours, there were instances when I had to stop chewing. …just in case. More clinical, perhaps, than some of his later work, but part of the reason I like it here is because the cold, factual nature of death (in his descriptions) perfectly matches the chilled, calculating detachment of some of the primary characters.
Its a book rammed full of bad guys and very few good guys. I love the fact that the bad guys are taught a firm (if exceptionally bloody and painful) lesson, even though two (by my count) seem to get away scot free (aside from serious physiological issues). Even the good guy(s?) suffer a little, as if to make sure that the message is loud and clear; life can be hard, its often shit; you have to just keep on truckin.’
I love reading about Frank Harrison and Ray Carter. They are different enough that my emotions have range, but similar enough that I can (almost) wag my finger in a I-told-you-so fashion when things start to go wrong. No spoilers from me, but I do enjoy a sense that Shaun, in his own violently icky way, is reminding us that crime doesn’t pay. For anybody.
Incidentally, this is is an early piece of his work and I really can see (in some of my older scrawlings), where I tried to ape his style. Certainly not so obvious any more (his writing has matured, mine certainly has and I write very different stories now) but I feel kinda warmed that I was able to catch some of his ick in my work. ^_^