Sunday, April 4, 2010
Slammer, by Allan Guthrie
There aren't too many things better than discovering a writer who blows you away, and then finding out said writer has several books available to keep you hooked. Over the last few months, I've been reading a lot of modern noir writers, and while many of them have impressed me only two or three have absolutely thrown me for a loop and made me re-think my game. Allan Guthrie is one of those writers.
The book is Slammer, which is appropriate considering what the book does to your brain.
Glass is a deeply disturbed young prison guard, harassed by inmates and fellow guards alike. When he agrees under duress to do a favor for a con, he quickly falls under the con’s control and his life begins an ugly downward spiral; his deep-seated psychosis rages to life and it isn’t long before the boundaries between reality and fantasy become hopelessly lost.
Slammer is an intense novel, not so much the story of Glass’ slow descent into madness as his sudden, breathtaking plummet into insanity. The stakes get continually higher and higher, and all the while the reader is sickeningly aware that Glass is doomed—not just by external forces but by the twisted thing inside him. Superior psycho-noir.
Now if you'll excuse me, I'm off to find more Guthrie. I think I could become addicted to being slammed like that...