cover image Fresh Blood II

Fresh Blood II

. Do-Not Press, $16.95 (200pp) ISBN 978-1-899344-20-8

This second collection of edgy new crime fiction showcases some of Britain's best young talent. In Christopher Brookmyre's ""Bampot Central,"" two hapless youths straight out of Trainspotting hold up an Edinburgh post office. For the off-duty copper caught in the ensuing impromptu hostage situation, taking charge comes easy--maybe a little too easy. A bitter, retired Queen's Counsel watches the other inhabitants of an old-folks home with increasing annoyance in Mary Scott's ""An Hour After Lunch."" They're a petty and annoying bunch. They're also dying off at an alarming rate, and society's indifference to the aged gives the murderer a very effective shelter. Phil Lovesey (son of esteemed crime master Peter Lovesey) writes from the point of view of a killer in ""Strangulation,"" repeatedly returning to the details of the actual murder to let us know just what a long, drawn out, drooly mess of a business strangling a woman is. The first Fresh Blood showed us the likes of Michael Dibden and John Harvey. This latest collection is occasionally risky and not uniformly impressive, but it offers reason to imagine that some of the talent on display will soon crack crime fiction's top rank. (Apr.)