Thursday, 2 August 2012

A Dark Place to Die by Ed Chatterton

Well what a weird experience...I once worked with a lovely guy from Southport called Martin and he wrote fast and funny kids books called Bad Dog and was a 'WBD' author and we went to my wife's old school Daleacre in Netherton and had great fun, he also wrote edgy teen thrillers and then upped sticks and emigrated to Oz. We found each other as you do on Facebook and he kept saying he would return and had met my mate Garth Nix and all was going great.

I was given a dark and gruesome looking 'Proof' by Random House/Cornerstone and it was by ed chatteron all lower case and funky looking and then on the author is page it said he was also Martin and had written all those 20 odd kids books and well here we go...

Starting with a cremation alongside my mates @IronMenCrosby we get a real roller coaster read with so much frenetic energy ripping into your mind it is like a 'coke bomb' off a read. As it goes 'Coke' is a big part of the book and the brutality and blase-ness of the lords of Liverpool that dominate the streets and live up the life style. The good guys are DS Frank Keane and his 'uber cool' oppo Em Harris, they are well aware of who might have torched the 101st Iron Man but are somewhat beleaguered. Down Under we meet bohemain Koop and his lady Zoe and her lady Mel and do they have frolics!

Koop it turns out has just retired from the Liverpool MIT and was the DCI of the team here. He now has to fly all the way back from Southport, NSW and starts sniffing around the city as he discovers the identity of the body due to a tattoo. There is loads of back story in this great book and the amount of detail into which we are led to read is superb, you are certainly never bored here.

Enter the ice cool killer Declan North a man with an IRA pedigree and a penchant for masochism and sadism too, he is a real cookie with a definite artistic bent.

In fact the art and culture are woven into this book with references to Hirst and Gormley and more making it feel quite cosmopolitan and yet it really rocks. There is a LOT of gratuitous sex and violence and it really works, this is definitively NOT for the squeamish or anyone not broad minded there is sodomy,rape and threesomes galore.

All the while you sort of get 'jet lagged' as the action cleverly flies from Liverpool to Australia and back and there again really smoothly. You are shocked by the instant brutality and yet it is so believable.

The body count is awesome and the plotting seriously superb and the characters on all fronts are well defined and used, there is twists and a stunning gruesome arty payoff after a coke fuelled drive across Oz to the 'Other Gormley's- Inside Australia', all in all a real breakthrough crime novel that takes travel,art and wisecracking and makes your eyes and mind explode in a daze of death.

 A mega read worthy of a 9/10 and 'ed' or 'Martin' as I know him is meant to be over here in DEC we plan a dark signing with the Iron Men and expect you all to read this book in September and be amazed.

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