Thu, 15 March 2007
Like the haar rolling off the North Sea, Al Guthrie's HARD MAN will disorient and chill you. His Edinburgh is not the fairytale of High Street, but a nightmare of lower class hardship and indifference. It is populated by flawed characters desperately seeking a little creature comfort. For hope of a pittance they're willing to sow the seeds of destruction, but they reap only suffering--a red harvest. The prose befits the action. Artfully ambiguous dialogue makes you wonder why anyone would be so violent for so little, but also keeps you guessing how things will end. Numerous points of view allow Guthrie to explore victims' pain, but likewise build suspense by delaying resolution. HARD MAN is at once highly stylized and brutally realistic--the love-child of hardboiled fiction and crime reporting--and the experience of reading it is like none you've had. This podcast is brought to you by Clute and Edwards of www.noircast.net. To leave a comment on this episode, or make a donation to the podcast, please visit "Behind the Black Mask: Mystery Writers Revealed" at btbm.libsyn.com.