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The King Has Lost His Crown
on 11 November 2009
Crime fiction comes in all flavours although some people would suggest that they are all low brow. A lot of the genre is hackneyed and regurgitates the same old stories to people who are comfortable in their bubbles. However, authors such as Don Winslow and Robert Ferrigno show that intelligence and wit can also play a part. In `Blood Stained Kings' Tim Willocks sets out his store early to do this as well as from the opening paragraph the book has a florid and intelligent style. Willocks' use of writing is at times excellent as he describes the inner workings of his characters in an artistic and truthful manner. However, this style also leads to confusion with some segments being so dense that I could not understand them.
What also shocked me for a book that proposed a high brow core was that it became so schlocky towards the end. The book has ultra violent moments and some unneeded adult encounters that were a little embarrassing to read. The book fluctuated from philosophical musing to out and out action. On their own these two elements work well and a book that was all action or all intelligence would have been excellent. However, Willocks' does not attempt this and instead has written a book with possibly the highest sense of its own importance that I have ever read. This is not to say that the action set pieces are not fun, but don't try and pretend that you are not a B-Movie style crime writer. Go into this book looking for a cheesy action crime thriller and you will be happy, go in looking for intelligence and you will feel robbed.