Saturday, May 12, 2007

Hard Man by Allan Guthrie

Looking for nail gun action? Looking for knee caps blown out with a revolver? Looking for messages to be sent by the always popular though sometimes ambiguous "dead dog" method? Then Hard Man by Scottish author Allan Guthrie is the book for you. Especially if you want all of the above served with a severe brand of black humor that will make you gag with laughter.

The story concerns a professional tough guy, Gordon Pearce, who is enlisted - just barely - by a father and his two sons to confront the man who has married, then abused a loved daughter, May. May is only sixteen and pregnant, but - she lets on - the father is not her husband. Bad for her since her husband is a nasty piece of work named Wallace. As far as Wallace is concerned, everyone involved in making the baby not his must pay. Anyone who stands in his way must also pay. No discounts. Not even for family.

In any event, Pearce shows up at Wallace's door with a knife. Unfortunately, he's a bit underprepared for the gunfight Wallace has in mind. How will Pearce handle the situation since he must handle the situation or die? Can the father and his two sons be of any assistance? Will May care one way or the other? To find out, you must get a copy and read for yourself. It would be against the rules of reviewing for me to tell you everything. This is a dark romp, not through the streets of Edinburgh where the police will soon be wishing they carried firearms, but through the minds of a set of Edinburgh residents who frankly should not have been let off their leashes and loose among the general public. If you like hardboiled, noir - if you like horrible lives with a sense of humor - if you like watching the triumphs of the tough - then you will very much like this novel. Highly recommended for all collections...


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