Wednesday, July 29, 2009

#29: Two-Way Split by Allan Guthrie

A mentally unbalanced trio of thieves inadvertently cross paths with an ex-con trying to go straight(ish) and a crooked(ish) private eye in Allan Guthrie's crisp caper novel Two-Way Split.

Guthrie name-checks old-school noir but adds his own touches of blunt humor and quirky characters. The Edinburgh setting adds interest and is also the location of another crackling crime drama from Guthrie that I read last year, Kiss Her Goodbye, which features some of the same characters.

I would easily point any Guy Ritchie movie fans towards Guthrie, or any reader who likes tough noir in a different setting. There is no doubt there is a lot of good mystery writing coming out of Europe today, at times eclipsing our homegrown scribes.

Two-Way Split has the distinction of being the first novel I read on my beloved new Kindle, and I purchased the download at the humble price of around a dollar. I consumed it over a day or so on the beach in Traverse City, Michigan, the perfect spot for reading a good pulpy outing.

I am on the prowl for more of Guthrie's fine, reverent noir writing.

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