Titan Books, p/b, 272pp, Â£7.99
Reviewed by Rebekah Lunt
I’m familiar with some of Guy Adams other work but this is in a significantly different vein of the fantasy/sci-fi genre. It’s a noir-ish thriller presented from multiple viewpoints with very distinct individual character voices. This is the biggest strength of this book in fact; although I do also have a constructive criticism which we’ll get to later.
I would probably class Max as the main protagonist, and he is the first person to whom we’re introduced. This is a straight-out crime thriller with a few quirks to keep your attention. The plot arises from Max and his friend Tom observing the suspicious actions of a group of people who appear to be transporting coffins out of the cemetery, plus, they seem to contain people who are still breathing…
As I said before, I really enjoyed the multi-character chapter structure; switching from voice and perspective each chapter really rounds out the story, gives it depth, and creates suspense without it needing filler material or seeming artificial. Like I also said though, I have one – and only one – criticism: there is a fairly minor showing of female characters, and the main one appears to serve a core function of ‘vulnerable woman at the hands of a villain creates easy sympathy/emotional impact’.
All of the characters are genuine and believable as actors in the story and, having read Adams’ previous work, I know that he can write really good, complex, female characters. That said, the book is a great read and I am looking forward to the follow-up ‘Deadbeat: Dogs of Waugh’. I would just love to see an already varied cast expand its diversity to women protagonists – in fact, I am really hoping for a specific twist in the next book that would be more than satisfactory.
All in all, this is a great beginning to a series of stories, reads as a strong entry into the pulp fiction annals, and I hope that it’s going to be a long series.