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.
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.