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Published by Head of Zeus, 1 December
2016. ISBN: 978-1781851470
opening scene of Road Kill sets the tone for this novel as it describes
a character ingesting a mixture of MDMA and vodka.Whilst you don’t need to research the
substance to enjoy the book, Google reveals that:
“ethylenedioxy-methamphetamine (MDMA) is a
synthetic drug…”, that induces, “feelings of increased energy, pleasure,
emotional warmth, and distorted sensory and time perception.” This illuminating
definition describes the book rather well.
Through the stories told by two first person
narrators, Daisy and Ronnie, the reader becomes immersed in the frenetic
subculture of drug dealing and gangsters.Daisy works at The Underground, a London nightclub, which is
managed by Noel and Ronnie.Noel’s
alcoholism and drug-addiction render him unreliable for much of the novel,
whilst Ronnie has returned to his homeland, America, to support his brother
Eamonn whose prison sentence for murder is about to end.Edie, the nightclub’s owner, becomes
increasingly disenchanted with the two managers and she promotes Daisy during
their absence.The plot thus follows
events in London through Daisy’s perspective whilst Ronnie’s American adventure
plays out away from home.The dual
setting is intentionally disorientating and reflects life in the twilight zone
within which the storytellers operate.
Shortly after Eamonn’s release, Ronnie abandons
his fraternal duties and is persuaded to accompany his friend Eli on a road trip through
the States.The purpose of the journey
is to track down an elusive business associate called Trent, who apparently
cheated Eli during a deal.The events
that follow are fantastical in the extreme, as the men encounter a variety of
extraordinary characters, experience distortions of place and time, and find
their senses numbed or heightened through a series of real and drug induced
trips.Killing and mayhem are routine
occurrences as the two companions confront, and sometimes participate in, the
dark arts of alchemy and satanic ritual.
Across the Atlantic, meanwhile, Daisy is haunted
by another evanescent being, curiously known as, Seven.As the novel progresses, Daisy becomes
obsessed with finding her erstwhile pal, but finds it impossible to distinguish
reality from imagination in her crazy, drug-fuelled and sleep-deprived life.
These parallel, transatlantic plots eventually
come together and a dramatic, violent conclusion is inevitable. Jameson describes a chaotic world that terrifies
and tantalises.She creates unstable and
dangerous characters who, at times, reveal themselves to be astonishingly
ordinary and, therefore, all the more frightening.This is, perhaps, unsurprising for an author
who cites Tarantino as one of her influences.
Anyone who enjoys the surrealism of David Lynch
and M. Night Shyamalan will find “pleasure and emotional warmth” within the
dark humour at the centre of the novel.Road
Kill is enjoyably gruesome noir!
Road Kill is Hanna Jameson’s third
novel in the London Underground series.She was shortlisted for the CWA John Creasey Dagger Award 2013 for her debut novel Something You Are and Girl Seven the second novel in the series published by Head of
Hanna Jameson published her first novel,
Something You Are, when she was just twenty-one. It was nominated for a CWA
Dagger. She has lived in Australia and travelled the USA, Japan and Europe.
Marshall-Gentworked in the emergency services for twenty years
first as a police officer, then as a paramedic and finally as a fire control
officer before graduating from King’s College, London as a teacher of English
in her mid-forties. She completed a M.A. in Special and Inclusive
Education at the Institute of Education, London and now teaches part-time and
writes mainly about educational issues. Dot sings jazz and country music
and plays guitar, banjo and piano as well as being addicted to reading mystery
and crime fiction.