While it’s a sort of habit of mine to lend or more often give away my books, it’s been a long time since I was given someone else’s to read. Receiving a book of a friend, who loved it, is like discovering a world following in his or her footsteps, occasionally sharing a flinch or a smile, quite possibly even a chuckle here and there. Might you be physically a world apart, a shared story in a way will always unite you beyond realms of reality.
A shared story and on this occasion sharp and beautiful prose, that makes you either a fan or jealous. Daniel Polansky‘s first book, The Straight Razor Cure left me thinking: ‘damn, this guy is good’. Reading Tomorrow The Killing this notion required changing to: ‘damn, this guy is good – and he knows it.’ He unquestionably uses the brush with more confident strokes, painting his characters stronger, the background bleaker, the storyline bolder, twisting you deftly around a grim tale of bitter delight.
Even with trying my best to follow the plot closer this time, he was still ahead of me, turning his game up a notch or two since book one, leaving me looking like a little girl in front of a skilled magician, utterly lost in the spin as we went.
I still loved how the interactions between the characters were fashioned, witty dialogues and purposeful strikes chiseling my reactions, at times nicking lighthearted giggles, at others drowning me in shades of bloody violence. I enjoyed learning more about the relationships between the Warden and those closest to him, making him easier to relate to and understand, if not necessarily accept his actions and the reasons behind them.
Daniel Polansky presents the second Low Town instalment not just with talent, credit where it’s due, but also with perceptible passion and pride in his work. I look forward to finding out how he concludes the series and how exactly he’s proposing to serve us all up to She Who Waits.