Friday 16 September 2011

A Wee Review - Truth Lies Bleeding by Tony Black

Following a spell as a desk jockey, DI Rob Brennan is back on Edinburgh's mean streets. And his first case could very well unravel all the emotional healing done during his recent psychiatric leave. A murdered teenager, dismembered and found in a dumpster puts him through the mill. He has a lot to prove and minimal support from his colleagues but he is determined to show them all that he can handle the job.

Truth Lies Bleeding, a police procedural, is a bit of a departure for Tony Black who, until now, has written a series of PI novels starring Gus Dury, an alcoholic ex-journalist turned crime-fighter. Brennan isn't as likeable a Dury, which is strange as one's an upstanding citizen and the other isn't all that good at standing quite a lot of the time. However, like him or not, Brennan is an interesting character and Truth Lies Bleeding is Black's most cereberal novel to date. The narrative works hard to present the tangle of thoughts and emotions that haunt and fuel Brennan on his quest for justice and respect (though not always in that order).

Truth Lies Bleeding is a brutal read; dark as the author's name, some of the characters will haunt your thoughts for a very long time after turning the last page. Gritty, urban and heart-wrenching, Black has discovered a darker shade of noir.


Paul D Brazill said...

Bet that's the first time Gus has been called likable in a while!

seana graham said...

I haven't read this book but I did read Black's story Hound of Culann in Requiems for the Departed and thought it was very good.

Also thought I'd say that I just reread your story Hard Rock as I'm at that point in the Mammoth Book of British Crime. I was glad to reread it in print form. I think the first time I mostly noticed what a dark and twisted tale it was, but the second time around I thought about how well written it was. Holds up beyond the shock value is what I'm saying.

Gerard Brennan said...

Paul - It probably says more about me than I'd like it to that I find aul Gus likeable.

Seana - Tony's a rare talent. No question about it.

RE Hard Rock, thanks so much for the compliment. I remeber when I first wrote that story I was still part of an online writers' workshop. I put that story through the wringer and got a response along the lines of 'You write too well to waste your time with this kind of crap!' I was quite proud of that...