16 of 19 people found the following review helpful
Impressive and Gripping First Novel,
This review is from: Low Town: The Straight Razor Cure (Hardcover)
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The author paints a convincing picture of Low Town, a grim, brutish, crime ridden place where violence is ever present. The story is narrated in the first person by a character who goes under the rather enigmatic name of the Warden. As a drug dealer with a taste for his own products, in particular pixie's breath and dreamvine, and an efficient, violent streak whether protecting his territory from criminal rivals or looking after his other interests, he fits perfectly into this environment. Although it would be hard to perceive him as a hero, he comes across as intelligent, persistent and single minded.
When a child is murdered, he chooses to investigate the crime and then comes under suspicion himself when there is a further incident. He is obliged to continue his investigations to protect himself from the attentions of the authorities. Despite the reasonable assumption that life does not count for a lot in Low Town, the child killing creates quite a stir which suggests that the place has its own set of moral values.
As a fantasy setting it probably takes about the first quarter of the book for the reader to be able to feel really familiar with the surroundings. After that the strong story line really takes hold and the book becomes quite a page turner. The writing is of high quality and the descriptions of people and places are particularly outstanding. This is an interesting blend of fantasy with a supernatural overlay and a little hint of romance thrown in. The climax is well thought out and logical though quite unexpected so the reader's interest is maintained to the end.
This is a very impressive first novel from the author and clearly there is plenty of scope for future episodes of Low Town. I believe that this is the first of a three installment deal and I look forward to the next episode.