Wednesday, September 28, 2011

#40: Slammer by Allan Guthrie

A young prison guard is tormented by fellow guards and inmates alike, ending in an explosive breakout, in Allan Guthrie's relentless noir Slammer.

I am a fan of Guthrie's hard-boiled, sardonic Scottish crime fiction, those of which that I've read are a reverent throwback to an earlier era.  This one features a classic unreliable narrator--I'm not sure if that is a noir sub-category, but it should be--and a very Cornell Woolrich-style downbeat ending (one that maybe goes on a half step too long).  It is very tough-minded in the Jim Thompson tradition and is probably not for delicate tastes, especially in some harrowing and graphic prison scenes.

Guthrie himself sent this to me for my beloved Kindle, for which I was grateful (though I would have probably bought it anyway).  I was hooked right away and read it quickly.  Recommended for noir fans and those seeking a change from American crime writing.

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