Tuesday, 29 July 2014

Totalitarian Drone Groove by Jason Michel

Totalitarian Drone Groove is not so much a novel as a series of dark, I'd go as far as to say bleak, scenes. There's a dark poetry about Michel's musings that can at times hold you in thrall. The author ties together the narrative very cleverly indeed, as I found out at the conclusion. This is just the kind of experimental work that the kindle age was made for. By no means a perfect essay on the flaws of our society, and it's possible futures, but a very laudable effort. It’s an intelligent, cynical, dystopian read that is not lacking in humour. Look for the music references – Michel knows his tunes.

Michel sticks two fingers up to conventional fiction with TDG and he certainly entertained this cynical heart. Bold. Brash. Bolshy.

Friday, 25 July 2014

The Magical Tragical Life of Edward Jarvis Huggins by Stuart Ayris

I suspect Stuart Ayris will collect a cult following. A following of those seeking a little more from this brief life that can, at times, be filled with pain and anguish. Ayris gently nudges one towards enlightenment with a soft hand and a kind word. Is he a guru? He’d laugh at the idea and yet I find his novels touch me in a way that is rare in literature.

His writing breaks every conversation in the book, pun intended. He remains playful slipping in poetic lines whenever he damn well pleases and to hell with the hard hearted critic.

I’ve been known to drone on with the books I’ve loved but I feel the need to keep this succinct.
This novel is about cricket and a little boy who seems heaven sent. It is about loss, grief and redemption. It is about friendship, teamwork and the human spirit. Whatever this fabulous novel teaches you enjoy it. That is all.  Now go. Read. Be uplifted.

Thursday, 24 July 2014

Angel of Death by Ben Cheetham

Sheffield's Rebus?

A young woman hell bent on revenge. A detective determined to self-destruct. A sinister cabal of powerful people who will keep their terrible secret, whatever the cost. Angel of Death is an accomplished thriller from author of Blood Guilt, Ben Cheetham. Fans of Rankin's Rebus will almost certainly enjoy this novel, where one of the main characters is a detective who feels so jaded by the job that he just doesn't care for authority any more. Retirement beckons and it's with bitterness that Jim Monahan goes about the job.

Another damaged character is the Angel of the title. A hooker's handle but one she lives up to in a deadly fashion. The chance to do a good deed for a young girl leaves her feeling powerful and alive for the first time in years. She comes to the terrible realisation that she can and must hit back at those that have mistreated her. She becomes the Angel of Death.

Cheetham tackles some big issues, and we are left feeling no small amount of empathy for the main characters as they both tread their separate trails of self-destruction. Trails that we know must at some point cross. The author has a rare talent for story telling and character creating.  Expect more steel city thrillers. A gripping read for thriller fans.