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Are You Boys Cyclists?

John McKenzie (Serpent's Tail £8.99) * ir 1k


Raw is hardly the word for it Lanarkshire-born ex-boxer John McKenzie has written as honest a novel as you're likely to come across this or any other year. Using the interceding narrator technique so beloved of writers like Italo Calvino and John Fowles, Are You Boys Cyclists? takes the reader down a dope~addled trail of pugilistic activin and rough sex in Edinburgh. All very autobiographical, one assumes, as Matt the narrator butts in occasionally to give a blow by blow account of uneranOyed working-

from Kingsmarkham to St Mary Mead.

class existence under the Tories, and the ways individuals block out the numbness and deflect their anger. By abusing the body his own and others' - Matt/John ekes out meaning to his life while questioning the validity of it all by attempting to forge a writing career. One Sitting should be sufficient for any male to see the dark side of their nature unravelled before their very eyes. (Brian Donaldson)

The Harlem Cycle Vol. 3

Chester Himes (Payback Press £7.99) *****

The srngular shortcoming of this further searing instalment of Himes's detective noir series is that the third volume is the last. An American author who died in Spain in 1984, Himes found acclaim in Europe but his work was sidelined at home. His portrayal of racial injustice and articulation of righteous black anger via the most WASP-ish of genres, proved just too much for publishers in the 19405. For readers not acquainted with the hefty double act of Messrs Gravedigger Jones and Coffin Ed Johnson, a treat awaits. These NYPD badge carrying bears cum grievous angels enjoy a broad remit to administer justice, premium wisecracks and bash heads in Harlem, armed with only their trusty Iong-barrelled, nickel plated, brass lined .38 revolvers. And, boy, do these guys like to eat. Grainy urban realism, Chandleresque plot contortions, violence of a strictly non- designer label, and perverse laughter aplenty. (RE)

In good bookshops from April 18th

An Inspector Chrisfy Kennedy Mystery by


Detective inspector Christy Kennedy investigates a disappearance, murder, chart~hyping and blackmail in the music business. This is a detective story with a difference: part whodunnit, part howdunnit and part love story, featuring a unique method of murder and a plot with more twists and turns than the road

, “Paul Charles is a writer set the join the ranks of Colin Dexter, ; RD Wingfield and Ruth Rendell.” I Love The Sound of Breaking Glass: ISBN 1 899344160-E7

Also available: Shrouded by Carol Anne Davies ISBN 1 899344 17 9 - £7

THE DO-NOT PRESS PO Box 4215. London SE23 209

Write for our free colour catalogue - Fiercely Independent Publishing

I" “M39

86 THE “ST 18 Apr—I May 1997

Do I Come Here Often? Black Coffee Blues Pt. 2 Henry Rollins (2.13.61 £15) ht Henry Rollins is a big guy. The kind of muscle-bound geezer who crushes cars like puny guys crush cola cans. Formerly of Black Flag and now the larynx-serrated voice behind his synonymous thrash/metal band, Henry is a severely messed-up 36-year-old if this second instalment of his diaries accurately reflects the singer-writer's psyche. The Blues Pt. 2 collection makes disturbing reading. On the road, memoirs of the 1991 Lollapalooza tour reveal a lonely, disconnected man disgusted by his 'weak’ peers, sex mad groupies and dumb journalists 'Sometimes I imagine that people are dead when I talk to them . . . I imagine killing them and eating while standing over their bodies’. Psychiatry students will enjoy the weird bits while music fans should stick to the Henry Meets Issac Hayes, John Lee Hooker and Jerry Lee Lewis bits. (AD)

Henry Rollins



John Berger (Bloomsbury £6.99) *****

A collection of observations, many seemineg unremarkable, Berger captures moments which would otherwrse be lost in the mists of time, moments which Berger replicates in words and which, as he wrote, he visualised as photocopies. Drawn from across modern Europe, particularly his adopted home, France, this is beautifully understated yet conveying a wealth of emotion. (SM)

The Imaginary Girlfriend

John Irving (Black Swan £6.99) a: at * An autobiography taking its name

from an excuse given to an old coach, lrvrng's life w0u|d seem weighted more toward wrestling, in which he competed, refereed and coached, than writing. Highlighting his sporting and literary heroes, influences and the prize-Winning wrestling careers of his sons, this is entertaining but often reading like a sports commentary. (SM)


Thom Dibdin, Ann Donald, Brian Donaldson, Rodger Evans, Susan Mackenzie, Alan Morrison,


Final Victim

Stephen J. Cannell (Michael Joseph £9.99) a: s it 9:

Early impressions of a cliched Silence Of The Lambs in cyberspace are quickly left behind as this snowball of a plot builds to an all-consuming avalanche. A vicious killer is using his computer knowledge to leave mutilated bodies across America, but a make-shift team of tough customs officer, brainy woman and Hispanic hacker are on his trail. Debut writer Cannell is best known for the television series he has created; here he harks back to the strong characterisation of his Rockford Files and the skills combination of The A Team. (AM)

Gone Fishin'

Walter Moseley (Serpent's Tail £9.99) + ‘k k

Moseley's first novel finally gets into print and, while not possessing the drive of his other Easy Rawlins books, it does bring depth to the character. Easy is nineteen when he and his volatile friend Mouse head to the bayou to confront the latter's father, and much of the action explains the basis of their subsequent relationship. The atmosphere all voodoo, fevers, and sweaty sex is potent. (AM)

One Man, One Murder Jakob Arjouni (No Exit Press £4.99) '1' it alt fir 1k

Kernel Kayankaya is the ultimate genre outsider —- private investigator; sarcastic tongue; German citizen of Turkish background. In this deadly story, he’s bad-mouthing his way through the racrst mire that is modern-day Germany's immigration system in search of a Thai ex-prostitute. As a crime book, it's terrific; add some no- compromise comments on the supposedly ciViIised West’s legacy of sleaze and intolerance, and it's close to a masterpiece. (AM)

Payback Thomas Kelly (Orion £16.99) a 7%

Former sandhog (tunnel labourer) Kelly has a healthy respect for manual labour as honest work, so his take on corruption in New York's construction industry of the late 80s is unflinching. Italian and Irish gangsters overlap wrth tough union offiCials and a good brother—bad brother storyline. The broad scenario is nothing new in this debut novel, but Kelly draws on personal experience to create an entirely credible atmosphere and sense of community, while tarnishing the myth of New York as a rejuvenated City. (AM)

Give Us A Kiss Daniel Woodrell (No Exit Press £6.99)

When Doyle Redmond leaves his dead- end marriage and academic career to return to his hillbilly home, he discovers he’s tied to the place by blood in more ways than one. Family duties are the unassailable rules of life in these parts, and if that leasz to murder, so be it. A lazy tale that’s as unhurried as an Ozark drawl, Give Us A Kiss is all mood and minimal plot. (AM)