Saturday, 28 July 2012

Review: Nowhere To Go

*** I thought I'd already reviewed Iain Rowan's Nowhere To Go when I read it initially, but obviously that was in the universe outside the other room and not this one. Anyway, I recently bought this one as a paperback and read it again, so here's a review... ***



This was the artwork
 when I originally read it, which
I still quite like...
... and this is the spiffy new cover.
I first read Rowan's short fiction in his superb collection Ice Age, a book of stories in the horror/weird fiction mode. The stories in Nowhere To Go are more fimrly rooted in the crime genre, and without exception they are all expertly plotted and stylishly written: Rowan's prose is always clear-cut and effective, and never more so than here.

Of the eleven stories here, my favourites were:

'One Step Closer' - great characterisation in a piece so short, and Rowan's sympathies with the victims of crime rather than the criminals themselves is on display in a story of a robbery gone wrong...

'One of Us' - the short story from which his excellent novel of the same name grew. Interesting to read it again now I know the novel. Like the novel, Rowan really shows is skills at first-person character building here.

'The Chain' - quite simply because I did't predict the twist...

'Moths' - a side-order of Ice Age-esque weirdness in amidst the crime. The closing imagery is to die for.

'The Remains of My Estate' - a masterful description of a sink-estate and the loan-sharks who bleed it dry.

'Nowhere To Go' - another one with a hint of the supernatural; possibly my favourite and a great closing story to a great collection.

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