Regular readers of mine will know just how much I read. Indeed, just like coffee, I’ve consumed so much that the active ingredients have a deadened effect on my constitution.
I haven’t cried at a book since I read the picturebook of Star Wars: Episode One to my brother when the film came out. I didn’t cry last night, when I read Michael Marshall’s Killer Move.
But I came close.
Like most Marshall / (Smith) novels, the ending is blinding. The last hundred pages of the book race on at a frantic pace, swerving with the twists and turns of the plot. Within the last ten pages, my stomach dropped right out. Marshall is a master of guiding his reader’s thoughts and feelings, and the ending is fantastic.
My focus on the ending is slightly telling, however.
The book is great, the plot strong. However, I did feel that it took a fair while to get into it. By around page sixty the action starts to kick off and a lot more strangeness arises. Looking back now, I feel those pages helped strengthen the ending, but for some reason I didn’t enjoy the opening scenes as much as I’d expected.
That being said, there is a sub-strand of the plot being simultaneously weaved which helps move things along. Marshall is an expert at multiple threading like this, and it builds an exciting premise. He is also great at getting the reader into the heads of his protagonists, either through first person or a sympathetic third.
The real gems though, as I always expected, was the descriptions and reflections on life, transience and identity. He pushes back that door into the private part of our self and our soul.
And I enjoyed the very subtle motif of pain(t).