This book was provided to me by the publisher at no cost.

BVugiUECEAAO_Ky.jpg-large_1388947474_crop_300x460I am not the target audience of this novel. It revolves almost entirely around the drug-taking sub-culture in south London, and that’s definitely not my scene. Nor am I particularly enamored of the brisk yet also sometimes fastidiously detailed sex scenes, nor the veering between sparse details on one page and then extravagant description on another. I admit I skimmed portions of the novel.

The fact that I skimmed is actually a back handed compliment, because I did actually want to finish it. My description of it revolving around drugs is true, but a bit unfair, because the drugs are merely a gateway (if you will) into a story about modern colonialism: that is, how the corporations do it. It’s a thriller, so there’s chases and double crosses and sell-outs; shifty people and honest people and people who got caught in the cross fire. There’s also a pirate radio station, raves, and a dog. And the main character’s biology works on a 25-hour cycle; I still haven’t figured out whether I think this is entirely a gimmick, or if it’s a clever little bit of character development. I guess it could be both, but I am leaning towards ‘gimmick’ because except for making him want to sleep at odd hours (uh, like a lot of twenty-somethings) and function well in the middle of the night sometimes, it didn’t have that much impact.

If you are less squeamish (or prudish?) than me about drugs, and want a fairly fast paced thriller that includes corporate evilness, you could do worse than this. But calling Beauman one of the top new British novelists is, based on this example, a bit much.

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