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Two Way Split


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									Two-Way Split by Allan Guthrie Reviewed by Geoff Nelder June 2004 Short listed for the CWA Debut Dagger award Published 2004 by PointBlank Press ISBN 1-930997-49-3 available from Amazon at £9.99 This is a fast action thriller where the reader is taken on a bloody rollercoaster ride, inhabiting the chill, fear and urgency of the characters. Forget Rankin for your crime A2Z of Edinburgh, this is the guide you need to avoid the nastiest of the sleazy bars, forbidding massage parlours and hellhole apartments. Witness Princes Street in a new dark light even when crowded with shoppers. Pearce, a convicted murderer fresh out of jail has to work off a debt by collecting debts when his mother is killed in a post-office raid. He lusts after revenge but the plot twists as the robbers have their own gut-wrenching and murderous subplot. It isn't just guns blazing and affectionate words cut into the stomachs of the dying, there's enough braiding and weaving of plot to keep your intellect warm too. Written in active voice there isn't a phrase that doesn't take the reader along with the plot, utilising all your senses – almost too much colour, too much olfactory involvement. This is the place for original metaphors. My favourite: Someone was knitting a jumper with his intestines. Excellent. This is the nearest thing a law-abiding person will come to experience beatings and killings without bloodying yourself although I don't say you might not wet yourself. Don't read it by yourself: you need company to keep yourself sane. Any writer or reader of gutsy crime must read this compelling book. Well done Al. Although Al Guthrie is pretty much on his own within the Crime Noir genre, if I had to point at the nearest author then Richard Stark's The Hunter comes to mind. Geoff Nelder

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