Monday, 9 May 2016

Marwick's Reckoning, by Gareth Sparks - a review

A man is sat in a bar quietly drinking. He sips at his neat scotch and frowns. Nothing wrong with the booze, he's wondering where his life has gone so wrong. He's been betrayed at every turn by those he has loved and trusted. The fact that they were murderers and gangsters has nothing to do with it. Betrayal hurts and as we all know a wounded animal lashes out.
Marwick takes a last sip of his drink and slams the glass down upon the table. They will pay for their sins, revenge is a dish best served bloody as hell. He stands and strides out of the bar and into the Spanish sunlight. There would be a reckoning.

Being a writer, changes you as a reader. Well it did me. I am no longer able to read for fun. I am forever analysing the prose, looking for plot holes, wondering at word choices and picking holes in sentence structure. I wish I didn't. But I do. I still love reading. It's just different, that's all. 

So when I began to read Marwick's Reckoning, by Gareth Spark, I went into my normal analytical mode. But within a few pages, I wondered. I wondered why I was smiling in a quizzical sort of way, turning the virtual pages with a grin on my face. Then I realised. It was because this was a book with which I could find no fault. Not one. The prose is so tight, the atmosphere so tangible, the characters so real.

Spark writes in way in which each word stands alone on the starkness of the page, firm in the knowing that it has earned its place. The whole story is told as if through gritted teeth, leaving this reader with the feeling that to walk away at any stage would be to risk more than I knew.

With a style that combines Hemingway and Greene in a modern gangster tale of betrayal and revenge, Marwick's Revenge is an absolute must read for all those fans of gritty, sweat dripping, blood soaked fiction.     

An overused phrase, I know, but Marwick's Reckoning is a modern noir classic. And if that's your sort of thing, I implore you to read it. You will not be disappointed.

Marwick's Reckoning is publishedon the Kindle by Near to the Knuckle and is available at Amazon UK here Amazon US  here


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