This second novel in his three-book deal with Polygon sees Guthrie revisit Edinburghâ€™s underworld for another gruesome instalment. In just 236 short pages we are exposed to murder, suicide, incest, betrayal and rape then roughly spat out to confront our own feelings towards such harrowing violence. The rather gritty writing style in this book fits perfectly with its amoral tone and only accentuates its blackness.
Joe Hope is far from happy. Discovery of his beloved daughterâ€™s suicide leaves him reeling and he turns to his best friend and partner in crime, Cooper, for support. Unable to come to terms with the facts, he sets out to discover for himself exactly what happened. Just when it couldnâ€™t get any worse he gets arrested for a murder he didnâ€™t commit. With the help of a young and seemingly inexperienced lawyer and a tough nut of a prostitute with troubles of her own, Joe decides to track down the real killer and sees his life change forever in the process.
A truly magnificent and expertly written masterpiece, Kiss Her Goodbye leaves you exhausted and empty, yet you just canâ€™t put it down. We can expect many more compelling things from Allan Guthrie. He has me hooked and I am looking forward to discovering more of his work in the years ahead.
A Polygon Paperback original. First published 2005. ISBN 9781846970054. 236pp. Â£6.99