A quickie

My copy of Fractured West arrived today – it is gorgeous, truly so! This fact pleases me immensely as I have an ultra-short story in it, called Billie on Sunday. Kudos to the team that put this first edition together, long may their work continue.

Mini reviews

Broken by Karen Fossum, published by Vintage – what an excellent novel this was. I’ve had issues in the past with translation of Scandinavian works, but no complaints about this one – a powerful but subtle story, balancing the disintegration of the life of an ordinary man with the surreal relationship between that man as a fictional character and the writer of the novel ‘Broken’. Sounds a bit fey, doesn’t it? Trust me, it’s not, it’s a sinewy novel, strong in the details of power relationships and uncompromising about the nature of exploitation. Recommended to anybody who likes well-written conflict, psychological insight and spare but intelligent prose.

A Snowball in Hell by Christopher Brookmyre published by Little, Brown – a little Brookmyre goes a long way, if you ask me, but the long way that it goes is extremely good. Reading one of his novels is like drinking shots with a lounge lizard; you know bad things are likely to happen to you but you are enjoying yourself too much to stop. A Snowball in Hell is like Tequila Slammers – raw and incandescent at the same time. Some of the soliloquies are utterly sublime: funny, self-justifying, brutal and stylish. Recommended for those who have strong stomachs (the details of the murders are gruesome) and an interest in genre fiction, especially of the ‘caper’ variety.

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