(Earthling Publications, $14/$150, 80 pages, paperback/lettered slipcased
Fi and Rache have been ordered by Bas
a North London gangster, to kill three designated people in twenty-four
hours. Or he will drain the blood from their friend Liam's body pint
by pint. Meanwhile, Ness has arrived in London, in search of her lover
Oban (named after the Scottish seaside town where they met). Ness is
an "arrester", possessed of the rare ability to see images from the
future, a gift that pays its price in pain ...
Game is a novella that takes the material of very hardboiled
crime fiction and adds a horror/dark fantasy twist. It's told from a
number of viewpoints, with two main plotlines converging towards the
end, a fragmentary structure that invites the reader to piece the plot
together. It's a story diamond-hard in tone, studded with imagery that
will stay in your mind whether you like it or not, evoking a brutal
world where evil flourishes and the innocent are liable to die horribly.
Williams also shows a strong sense of London at different times of the
day and night.
There are plenty of good things in this novella which make it worth
your time. However, I'm not convinced that it entirely works. The plot
comes apart in the final stages, as the two plotlines converge by means
of a coincidence, leading to a final twist which simply didn't ring
true for me.
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