Tuesday, 11 September 2012

THE BITCH by Les Edgerton - a review

After reading Les Edgerton's JUST LIKE THAT  a little while back (review here), I jumped at the chance to take a look at Les' latest - THE BITCH.

And I wasn't disappointed.

The Bitch explores the dark choices that Jake, as a two-time offender faces to save both his life and his soul—life imprisonment if caught for the third time under the federal ha-bitch-ual criminal law—known to outlaws as "The Bitch." Choices that may cost him everything and everyone he loves. What are the limits of loyalty? What is the spiritual process by which a savvy hair designer deteriorates into a mass murderer? A work in the cold existentialist tradition of Sartre and Camus, and the transgressive fiction of Celine, The Bitch struggles for answers and, on finding them, a way out.

As it says in the blurb, 'the bitch' is prison slang for an 'habitual' criminal. A criminal is deemed 'habitual' if he is incarcerated three times. Jake has been inside twice, so 'the bitch' hangs over him like a modern day Damoclean blade. 

At the beginning of the book, we find Jake on the straight and narrow, working in a hair salon, married, his wife due to have a baby. All is rosy. Jake is determined to stay straight, for his wife and for his unborn child. He even has plans to open up his own salon.

But a phone call straight out the past turns Jake's whole world upside down, and he is thrust into a nightmare out of which there seems no escape, where every choice he makes leads him further into hell.

Never before have I read a book wherein the main character's spiralling into the darkness is so brilliantly chronicled. Just as we think Jake has conquered one obstacle, another one comes along to hit him like a truck. So close does the trinity of reader, author, and Jake become, at one point, I wasn't only thinking 'how is Jake going to get out of this', I was thinking 'how is Les Edgerton going to write himself out of this'. But a man of Edgerton's ability is a man to trust to the very end. You know he will write the truth, however much it hurts.

THE BITCH  is an absolute belter of a read, right up there with the very best books I've read in the last ten years.

The Bitch is available from Amazon UK here and from Amazon US here

A review of The Bitch over at Spinetingler can be found here and Les Edgerton's website can be found here



  1. Thank you so much, Ian! I can't tell you how much this means to me for a writer of your uncommon talent to like The Bitch. It means everything, mate!

  2. I have read The Bitch and I love it as well. It is nice to see great authors getting praised.

  3. I totally concur with your opinion, Ian.