Audacious Perversion

Mark Sanderson, Author Do-Not Press $14.95 (238p) ISBN 978-1-899344-32-1
English journalist Sanderson infuses the slasher crime novel with British class warfare in this dry tragicomedy about a 28-year-old crossword-puzzle-obsessed London magazine writer whose misanthropy barely overtakes his self-hatred. Just as the backward spelling of Martin Redrum's last name tips off the reader, the acrostic of his disastrous dinner party's guest list--Michael, Alex, Rory, Trudi, Isobel, and Nicola--is enough to set him off on a methodical murder spree. These ""friends,"" whom he considers undeservedly richer or more successful than himself, start meeting their demises in occasionally creative and appropriate ways, such as death by tanning bed, exercise weights and cocaine. Sanderson goes over the ground broken long ago by Martin Amis and Bret Easton Ellis (while fans of Stephen King's The Shining will recognize the Redrum ploy) as he reconstructs a now-tiresome landscape filled with yuppie hedonists, narcissists and wastrels, all warranting death in Martin's jaded opinion. Any satire or wit is subsumed in the planning of Martin's next killing, the arrangement of another alibi or the release of another red herring. Part of the publisher's Bloodlines crime series, this novel is ultimately undermined by a protagonist insufficiently sympathetic to win readers' hearts and inadequately villainous to gain their hisses. (Mar.)
Reviewed on: 03/01/1999
Release date: 03/01/1999
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