|

Click here to expand and collapse the player

Book Review

0

Warren Ellis, Gun Machine

  • 2013
  • | Publisher: Mulholland Books

A gripping, fast-paced, determinedly hardboiled detective yarn

There’s no easing into Gun Machine — Warren Ellis’s ferocious and deliciously twisted crime novel aims for the solar plexus from the start. The moment weather-beaten New York City detective John Tallow peeks his head through the busted tenement wall, it’s clear that playtime is over. What’s in there? Guns. Lots of them — Berettas, revolvers, rifles, even a freaking flintlock — arranged in strange configurations all over the place. Curiouser: The forensics lab insists every single one of the firearms was used in an unsolved murder over the past two decades. And, oh yeah, one the guns belonged to the Son of Sam, stolen from an evidence locker for one last kill, apparently.

 

So who’s the killer? Some shadowy wraith called the Hunter, a guy meticulous enough to pull off hundreds of murders without dropping a clue but primal enough to treat Central Park like his personal Habitrail, and batshit crazy enough to imagine himself a reborn Lenape warrior looking to reclaim Manhattan for his supposed people.

 

Now it’s finders-weepers for Tallow — a loner made doubly lonesome by the death of his partner and his outcast status in the force — who’s tasked with cracking the behemoth case and bringing in the psycho perp. Dude never should’ve stuck his head into that apartment.

 

In Ellis’s gripping, fast-paced, determinedly hardboiled detective yarn, Manhattan is wonderfully grimy and gas-slicked again, the kind of place where one sad-sack good guy can make a difference or honorably die trying. The old-school noir charm is only heightened by narrator Reginald E. Cathey — veteran of another chunk of modern urban crime mythology, The Wire — whose Orson Welles-via-Jurassic Five baritone strikes just the right (bass) tones.

Comments 0 Comments

eMusic Features

1

Interview: George Saunders

By Amanda Davidson, Contributor

George Saunders's newest story, published only as an audiobook and Kindle Single, is told from the point of view of Fox 8, the title character who pens his tale of friendship and loss by way… more »

Recommended

View All

eMusic Activity

  • 08.25.14  The site will be down for scheduled maintenance from approximately 6am-8am EST. Apologies for any inconvenience.
  • 08.24.14  US members: It's the last day to stock up on the best indie pop of the last 25 years in our @SlumberlandRecs sale! http://t.co/0jtqHC0PEN
  • 08.19.14  US members: We're celebrating 25 years of @SlumberlandRecs with a sale on our favorites from their catalog this week: http://t.co/5zQNKI34SJ
  • 08.19.14  US Members: Stock up on albums from favorite artists like Mirel Wagner and @TomPetty, on sale for just $4.99: http://t.co/QkhIdp6H7f
  • 08.14.14  US Members: Our Endcap Sale is the best way to stock up on new music from @HoorayforEarth and more for just $4.99: http://t.co/QkhIdp6H7f