A blog dedicated to reviewing crime novels published by independent presses everywhere.
Saturday, July 25, 2009
Review of Killing Mum
Allan Guthrie is the latest author to pen a novella for Five Leaves Press's Crime Express series. Killing Mum brings Guthrie back to some of his characters from Savage Night. Specifically, it puts death broker Carlos Morales in a tough spot. He's in the business of arranging to have people killed, so it's no surprise when he gets an envelope full of cash and a name. What is a surprise is the name is his mother's. Carlos can't figure why someone would want his mother dead. The only person he knows who hates his mother is his wife, and she's also the only person he knows who knows his mother is his mother. So, naturally he's suspicious. He sets up a little test, but things don't go as planned.
Killing Mum is quick and dirty read. It's probably about an hour's investment all told. It's remarkable for it's thematic similarity to Guthrie's latest novel Slammer. Characters in both novels have the the same sort of reaction to traumatic experiences. Guthrie spends quite a bit of time mining familial strife in his novels, so there's nothing here that will surprise anyone familiar with his work. It would be interesting to know, however, if this work was a dry run for Slammer, or Guthrie is revisiting a theme here. Killing Mum is rather tame by Guthrie standards, and it didn't quite pack the punch of Ray Banks' Crime Express entry Gun, but it's a solid effort nevertheless. It may serve as a good entry point for those who haven't read Guthrie's work yet. If you like this, then the novels may be for you.
And yes, the Kindle edition artwork I found on Amazon has a squirrel. I'm just as puzzled as you.
Welcome to the Indie Crime Blog. As the name implies, this blog is dedicated to reviews of crime fiction published by independent presses. There are many books published every year that seem to be ignored for a variety of reasons. The books sections of newspapers are getting smaller. Bookstores give more shelf space to more established authors. I could go on, but you get it.My intent is to review books both old and new in the hopes that some deserving writers and worthy publishers will gain some exposure. I can be emailed at IndieCrime-at-gmail-dot-com