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Guthrie, Allan - 'Killing Mum'
Paperback: 96 pages (June 2009) Publisher: Crime Express ISBN: 1905512694

This innocent-looking little book is easily read in an hour or two. It is another fantastic whirlwind of violence and intrigue from Allan Guthrie, who is fast becoming a master in his genre. It hits you a powerful punch in the very first paragraph and just gets darker from there on in.

In brief, Carlos is a hitman. He receives an anonymous request to kill Valerie Anderson. Only trouble is, Valerie is his mum. Another problem lies in the way the note is worded. It could only have been written by one of two people - his mum or his wife!

The plot thickens as Carlos tries to work out who could possibly want his mum dead. And why. He resorts to asking her if she knows of any reason why somebody might want to kill her and together they hatch a plot to catch the culprit, but not everything goes to plan and before too long there are dead bodies everywhere.

If you are already familiar with SAVAGE NIGHT, then several of the characters in this chilling little tale should be familiar to you. KILLING MUM would seem to tie things up a bit for a couple of these characters.

KILLING MUM, a macabre tale from Edinburgh's underworld, feeds you tantalizing morsels of disturbing images, right up to the nasty little twist at the end, that leave you reeling and exhausted but, bizarrely, satisfied.

Don't be put off by the small size of this book. It is perfect for your handbag or pocket and reading on the bus. KILLING MUM is disturbingly wonderful. Guthrie at his best.

More Crime Express novellas are reviewed here and here.

Amanda Gillies, Scotland
November 2009

Details of the author's other books with links to reviews can be found on the Books page.
More European crime fiction reviews can be found on the Reviews page.

last updated 8/11/2009 14:25