The latest Five-Star Amazon review
Tony Black doesn't do plot, not in the classic sense. Instead, this author likes to show us the chaos, the backbiting and petty politics of police work in today's Edinburgh.
Be warned, if you don't like your crime fiction dirty and depressing, the aptly-named Black's work is not for you. Tony Black is no Ian Rankin wannabe, and anyone looking for the next Rankin should keep right on looking.
That said, if you're in the market for strong characterisation, downbeat themes and a critique of an exhausted, fragmented society unable to look itself in the mirror, `Truth Lies Bleeding' should be right up your corpse-strewn alley. This novel's hotter than whisky heartburn, and just as hard to ignore.
"The trouble with people, Brennan thought, is that they don't really like each other. All contact is false, and forced...It was pathetic, sickening even."
This is Black's first foray into police procedurals after his short Gus Dury series of modern PI novels. The relative unfamiliarity of the form seems to have helped the author mature his narrative style, which is less indebted to his influences than the earlier books. Black is not one to waste words, either, and though this novel packs a punch there are some readers who might find it a little slimmer than the fat, bloated police procedural thrillers they're used to.
If you like your crime fiction on the downbeat, angry side, or fancy something a little different, you should give this a try. In fact, I dare you to give it a try. Just don't blame me if you don't have the stomach for it, that's all.