Review: Gun Machine

Gun MachineGun Machine by Warren Ellis
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Good gracious was that a fun read! Warren Ellis’s GUN MACHINE delves into the dark undercurrent of violence that flows beneath our society and through our streets. In this particular case, the streets of New York City. Ellis starts off strong and hooks the reader with the protagonist stumbling upon an apartment awash in guns that are laid out in very specific, almost ritualistic patterns. Now you’re hooked and – much like the protagonist cop – you are dying to know who is behind this bizarre display of weaponry and why.
By then, Ellis has you where he wants you. Duct-taped to a chair with a filthy rag stuffed into your mouth. The rest of the book is fed to you in exacting prose that is somewhere between hard-boiled and brutally contemporary. The tone is perfectly suited to the plot and the characters.
I found the villain in this book to be fascinating and incredibly original. Odds are that you will be thinking about this guy long after you’ve put the book down.
Another highlight for me was the litany of violent incident reports that the cop listens to over the police band as he is driving through the city. While they have no direct bearing on the plot, they serve to give the book a sense of place. And what a fucked up place it is. These incident reports are so savage and grotesque that I have to wonder if Ellis didn’t use *actual* reports.
If you are a fan of mystery and police procedurals with a nasty twist, you will enjoy this book. How could you not? There is so, so much badassery in this novel.

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