The story is probably not long enough to justify several different stories being woven together. I finished reading the book thinking there was an excellent book somewhere here but it had been squeezed too much into the pages allowed.
However, the incompetence of the people involved, the violence, and lack of care for others, still makes for an interesting read. There is a neat twist in the Robin Greaves character. It's basically a story of a number of different people who live their seedy life. A sequence of events brings together the characters so they can play out the ending. Ailsa, a former junkie, battered by her man is the only character with any redeeming features so you can see it's all a bit grim. If the characters were less pitiful, it might be an amusing story of bungling.
Worth reading if you want an entertaining story about the seedier side of life. It did not encourage me to seek out further work of the author unless it was very cheap.
I believe Mr Guthrie can write. Some of the scenes in this book are quite memorable, which usually indicates quality writing. However, his characters are very poorly written. I had a real problem remembering who the characters were meant to be, and the plot became almost laughably confused. Shows distinct potential, but he needs a good editor. Very difficult to understand why this book won awards.
On the whole I enjoyed the book. It doesn't take up too much of your time, the story is razor sharp and it grabs you right in after the slow burning initial few pages but there was just something missing for me. The characters were just a tad too stereotypical, likewise the location (maybe we're a bit jaded with Edinburgh what with Rebus and Skinner seeming to have stitched the city up) and I have to say that my kindle had loads of "typos" and missing words, which does somewhat sully the experience. On the whole then, a good book for that train or plane journey or for the poolside lounger.
In this short novel, Guthrie briskly and entertainingly takes us inside the head of a small-time villain going through a breakdown before, during and after a Post Office robbery. He's his own worst enemy - literally, which is in turns amusing, disturbing, tasteless and horrifying. I'm not qualified to comment on the authenticity of the condition or its representation here, but realistic or not, it certainly comes to life over the course of a story I'll remember for a long time, though not one I'll ever read again!
Found this book by accident but decided to give it a go. I agree with the comment that it wasn't easy at first to follow the different groups but once I figured who was who I soon got into it. A mixture of unsavoury characters that you all want to see get their come uppance. I liked that it avoided the cliche to focus on police procedure and instead chos to be a character study. Good work, would recommend!
I always read the reviews for a book before deciding to purchase. In this case I am not sure if this was the right thing to do. I like books about police and crime and this had this had the makings of an excellent read. On the whole the plot was good with believable characters but why such a sudden ending? Another reviewer has mentioned that the author almost got bored with it and decided to end it abruptly. Well I couldn't agree more. A good book ruined by a truncated ending.
Grips from start to finish. Not an involved story but well written and makes you want to read more of Guthrie's books. Now reading Bad Men which is a follow on (no one would know as they dont list it as such) Also a good read so far