RARA-AVIS: Two-Way Split

From: Dave ( davezelt@comcast.net)
Date: 02 Jun 2004

I came across the following review of Allan Guthrie's Two-Way Split on Charlie Stella's (Charlie Opera, Jimmy Bench-Press) web-site (btw. I agree with Charlie's assessment):


Blue Velvet, Edingburgh style . that's what I was thinking as I read through Allan Guthrie's wonderfully dark debut novel, Two Way Split . one guy (Robin) finds out his wife (Carol) is cheating with his mate
(Eddie) (at least Robin has evidence she's cheating) and is haunted by demons that compel him to cross the edge and come back . another guy
(Pearce) is just out the joint and hell bent on righting the wrongs with his world (this guy you'll love), which will too quickly involve the unthinkable . an opportunistic PI gets slapped into a potential score he never dreamed existed (even if he's forced to share it with the gopher he hasn't paid in two months) and how that gopher (Kennedy) turns the tables .

Add to the above an armed robbery that goes wrong in the most unfortunate way, a loan shark (god love those guys), operatic references
(god love those, too) and what you have is one hell of a noir novel . Guthrie plots with the best of them . the end of each transition leaves you wanting more and anxious to keep reading . I went through this baby in two nights (passing the last 60 pages while on a treadmill-an hour never passed so exciting or quickly) . Two Way Split is a fun read filled with the darker slices of life I enjoy . it's good to know that Edinburgh is as full of life as some of us know it and others try to deny . Guthrie nails the darker side with this debut . a compelling read that leaves me wondering about the fun a David Lynch might have with this story adapting it to the silver screen.

Lines I loved most . there are others, but these I read over and over.

Ten years may not have taught him much, but one thing he knew. This time he wasn't prepared to spend all morning sharpening a screwdriver."

"Revenge," he said, "is an important part of my grieving process."

"You don't look so good." "Neither do you," Pearce said. "I'm dying,, what's your excuse?"

You'll want to read this one for Pearce's dialogue alone, and the plot only enhances some terrific writing. Pick this one up and enjoy a really great read.

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