Turn The Page: Gun Machine By Warren Ellis
There are some books where it is the ending that blows you away, and there are other books where the thing that you enjoy most is living in the world and walking alongside the characters. Now, this is not to say that I didn’t like the ending of the book – the pay off was very nice; but for me the thing that resonated most was actually the procedural and the human moments shared between Tallow, the main character, and Scarly and Bat the CSUs. I also enjoyed those moments where we were allowed to see inside the head of the Hunter. Ellis is great at creating compelling narrative, and the pacing is usually spot on; and he doesn’t disappoint with this book. It had a slightly different flavour to Crooked Little Vein, like some of the extremism of that book had been reigned in here and characterisation was front and centre stage. The batshit crazy moments shone even more because of this, flaring up out of the landscape of the investigation like the insanity they are. It kind of reminded me of From Hell a little in its construction and even thematically, where the location is as important as any internal geography of the killer. This makes sense given some of the preoccupations Ellis has explored on his site in recent and past times – it is almost as if the primal scream of the Hunter were sound flooding the chambers of the heart of New York, turning the whole book into an archaeo-acoustic exploration of the city’s underbelly. It will be interesting to see how this plays out as a TV series – if they achieve with this what the adaptation of Red did, building into and around the structure Ellis has created, in a complimentary way that takes the source material as not only a launchpad but a key touchstone then it will work well. Go read it!