Tomorrow The Killing by Daniel Polansky
Published by Hodder & Stoughton
ARC - 341 pages
Book 2 of the Low Town series
Published October 2012
Review copy given by the publisher
Read the synopsis for Tomorrow the Killing on Goodreads
After my almost fan-boy gushing over how good Polansky's debut The Straight Razor Cure was last year, I was eager to get stuck into his follow-up. Does it match up to the high bar he set himself? Oh, yes it does. Consider me a fully-fledged Polansky fan-boy.
Warden is one of my all-time favourite protagonists. There's no veneer of honour or glory; he's as bitter and selfish as the world around him. Polansky gives Warden a voice that is practically dripping in dark wit and world-weary rhetoric. I could sit and listen to Warden talk for hours. You never quite know if Warden seeks revenge or justice, and the way he pulls the strings of the head honchos in the city of Rigus makes for some excellent cloak and dagger reading.
Warden is supported by an excellent cast. His ward Wren has grown up a little and is forced to split his loyalties between Warden and Adolphus, Warden's best (and only) friend. They provide the little centre of calm in the maelstrom that is the bleak world of Low Town, filled with crazies, deviants and outcasts like Adisu the Damned and the witch-woman Mazzie of the Stained Bone.
My favourite thing about Polansky's writing still remains his distinct flair for the sardonic. He is adept at banter between characters, and the grim nature of the world makes for some great snark, especially with Warden. Polansky has also upped the ante from his first novel; Rigus is a powder keg of dissent and ill feeling, with full-scale civil war a very real possibility. The pace escalates very quickly; what begins as a simple missing person turns into a decade of lies and backdated revenge, culminating in a crescendo of violence.
Tomorrow the Killing is a vicious and bloody tale that grabs you by the throat and pulls you along for the ride. The world is dark, and the characters darker still. A must read that will have you hooked from page one; just remember to come up for air now and again. I'm fully confident that Polansky will be able to pull it out of the bag again and again