This is a book so vividly described that I could taste the grit between my teeth and feel the sun beat down upon my back, my throat was parched with Tommy's. When rain comes there;s's too much of it and I could feel the chafing of the sodden clothes. The scenes of killing nauseate.
The story followed almost perfectly the Three Act Structure. In the first quarter of the book the scene is set; the initiating tragedy is almost exactly at the 25% mark. The second quarter concerns their first steps towards injustice and the loss of the brothers' innocence. The third quarter rises to a crescendo with the act which ought to make redemption impossible and the final quarter contains the consequences.
The antagonist is a devil with the wonderfully ambiguous name of Noone. He tempts and leads the boys to sell their souls and then he is the instrument of punishment. This is a classic work of evil and temptation, of sin and redemption, of weakness and strength, and it is masquerading as a thriller.
This is savage and it's brilliant. It can be hard to read but it is even harder not to.
- "If they were dogs they'd have been called mongrels. Australian was a whole new breed."
- "It was the same sensation as when they'd first met: the feel of him tiptoeing down Tommy's spine."
- "Tommy spent a long time wondering what she was thinking, then he realised that he could not understand. Her thoughts were not his thoughts."
- Most Wanted by Robert Craik: a fast-paced thriller set in California
- The Devil's Dice by Roz Watkins: a whodunnit set in the English Peak District
- Snap by Belinda Bauer: a brilliant story about a young lad who, having become a burglar in order to survive, discovers his mother's killer.
- Resurrection Bay by Emma Viskic: a murder mystery set in Australia in which the PI is deaf
- The Mongolian Conspiracy by Rafael Bernal: classic Chandleresque Mexican noir
- The Closer I get by Paul Burston
This is a superb piece of writing. March 2019; 400 pages