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April 14, 2013 / John Sheridan

Gun Machine by Warren Ellis

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Amazon, Kindle, Amazon UK, Book Depository

It’s been awhile both since I posted a review and since I read Gun Machine but it is a great book so better late than never. Just listen to a couple of minutes worth of the trailer to be found here and I’m pretty sure you’ll want to get this one. Now just beware some spoilers below and you’re good to go.

Sharing a comic book background with other Mulholland Books luminaries such as Greg Rucka and Duane Swierczynski, this book features Det John Tallow whose partner is killed on entering an apartment building by a tenant that is unhappy (to say the least!) about the eviction notice that he and the other residents have been served with to allow for the redevelopment of the site. He is a character you can’t help but like even though he is not so popular with his fellow cops. The depiction of his “morning Tourette’s” captures him perfectly early in the book. The Tourette’s is eminently understandable in light of the fact that as well a dead partner and a dead perpetrator, Tallow managed to uncover an apartment loaded with guns from floor to ceiling courtesy of a shotgun hole in the wall and when forensics tie every gun in their random sample to an unsolved homicide he becomes suddenly the detective responsible for 200+ unsolved homicides – way to make your superiors happy!

Having stumbled upon the lair of a serial killer all that remains is to track him down which should be easy when you’ve got all the weapons used but things don’t ever pan out that easy especially when one gun is discovered to be a notorious weapon associated with a previous serial killer and was supposed to be securely held in a police evidence room. So that leaves you with evidence pointing to an inside man especially when someone higher up the chain is trying to shut down the investigation. So you’ve got guns (actually lots of guns a la Keanu Reeves in The Matrix), a serial killer, an insider within the police and a potential conspiracy to unravel all before the serial killer comes looking for you but at least you have two CSU’s nicknamed Scarly and Bat that you can count on.

Well worth picking up. My rating is 10 out of 10.

From the back cover:
This morning Detective John Tallow was bored with his job. Then there was this naked guy with a shotgun and his partner getting killed and now Tallow has a real problem: an apartment full of guns. Old guns. Modified guns. Arranged in rows and spirals on the floor and walls. Hundreds of them. Each weapon is tied to a single unsolved murder. Which means that Tallow has uncovered two decades’ worth of homicides that no one knew to connect and a killer unlike anything that came before.

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