Picks and Pans Review: He Kills Coppers
London, 1966. A cop murderer on the run. An officer on the take. A tabloid reporter on the story. Good guys are scarce. Verbs are scarcer.
Arnott nails every crunch and splatter of his dirty world. A newspaper photo is a "smudge." Police bust into a soccer mob "putting it about a bit lively with their truncheons." The reporter—with a few nasty secrets of his own—uses ink "the way an octopus does, to hide."
Rotating the points of view of three protagonists can be jarring, and the story has some flab (unlike Arnott's The Long Firm, which was as lean as a ferret and twice as sharp-toothed). Listening through Arnott's ears, though, remains a wicked delight. When the reporter mutters at a bar that he's working on a book, the next drunk over retorts, "Yes, neither am I." (Soho, $25)
Bottom Line: London brawling
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