Allan Guthrie, Author . Hard Case Crime $6.99 (223p) ISBN 978-0-8439-5355-8

Scottish author Guthrie's second novel (after Two-Way Split ) lives up to Hard Case's reputation for gritty noir thrillers that pull no punches; as with other books in the series, it can be difficult to find a single likable character. Joe Hope supplies strong-arm for the thuggish Cooper, an Edinburgh loan shark. The two have just come in from a night of breaking bones with baseball bats when Joe learns that his beloved daughter, Gemma, has committed suicide. His anger immediately turns to wife Ruth's cousin Adam, who runs a writer's retreat, to which Gemma moved years earlier. Joe resented seeing his daughter leave home and charged Adam with protecting her. But when Joe goes to exact vengeance on Adam, he finds himself arrested for murder—Ruth's murder. Joe and Adam become unlikely allies as an ugly frameup begins to emerge. Dark, possibly incestuous, secrets haunt the family's past; Adam's revelation of Gemma's diary sheds some light on them, but other secrets remain to be told before the inevitable, brutal showdown. This violent tale contains the sort of coarse language and emotional roughness that fans of this mystery line have come to expect. (Mar.)

Forecasts: Praise from Ken Bruen, Ian Rankin, Ed Gorman and Jason Starr for Two-Way Split (shortlisted for a CWA Debut Dagger) plus a major ad and promo campaign bode well for sales.

Reviewed on: 02/07/2005
Release date: 03/01/2005
Genre: Fiction
Mass Market Paperbound - 223 pages - 978-0-85768-320-5
Paperback - 236 pages - 978-1-904598-77-0
Open Ebook - 141 pages - 978-0-85790-172-9
Open Ebook - 978-1-322-43609-8
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