I originally noticed this bearded author, an interesting voice on Twitter and wow, also apparently a collaborator with Nick Cave in Grinderman and on the excellent White Lunar. Oops, wrong. The Warren Ellis who wrote Gun Machine is quite a different bloke from the Aussie-musician Warren Ellis. That settled, on to the book, which is good.
It’s a New York police procedural, which has been done before; but not like this. The killer is different, the cop is different, the corruption in the pillars of power (that’s almost a cliché now too) is different. And cop shows are all about the ambience; does it make you feel like you are there? Yep, this one does; and in a pretty damn strange place, too.
It’s not all shadowy noir; the supporting cast is often hilarious. Which is good because our protagonist Tallow is remarkably blank; a screen on which the story is projected. It’s not the technique I’d pick for a detective novel, but then I don’t write those and Mr Ellis does, very nicely too. Recommended.
I’ve never read any of Mr Ellis’ graphic novels, which are said to be excellent. I will now; but I bet the pictures won’t be as groovy as the ones that Gun Machine drew on the walls of my mind.