Book #18

Crime by Irvine Welsh

Now bereft of both youth and ambition, Detective Inspector Ray Lennox is recovering from a mental breakdown induced by occupational stress and cocaine abuse, and a particularly horrifying child sex murder case back in Edinburgh. On vacation in Florida, his fiancee Trudi is only interested in planning their forthcoming wedding, and a bitter argument sees a deranged Lennox cast adrift in strip-mall Florida. He meets two women in a seedy bar, ending up at their apartment for a coke binge interrupted by two menacing strangers. After the ensuing brawl, Lennox finds himself alone with Tianna, the terrified ten-year-old daughter of one of the women, and a sheet of instructions that make him responsible for her immediate safety.

This Irvine Welsh novel is just as gritty and harrowing as the rest of them. It's extremely dark, at times a lot darker than Welsh's other novels. It's also very obviously well-researched, tackling the difficult issue of child abuse.

I feel like Welsh has attempted to break a few boundaries with Crime. His novels are usually set in Scotland, particularly Edinburgh, but this time he takes us over to Miami, Florida, and unravels his story across the pond.

The characters are strikingly realistic, and Welsh shifts between narratives and tenses in such a complex way that it's extremely effective.

As is typical with Welsh, the subject matter is tough in places. I wouldn't recommend it to many people for these reasons, but for people who can handle it, it's good.

I'm a huge Irvine Welsh fan, I'll read anything he can throw at me. He's a grotesque kind of genius, and this is what is so appealing to me. However, I felt that he has done better with past novels, this one seemed almost like a shadow of Filth.

18 / 66 books. 27% done!