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Gun Machine by Warren Ellis

Gun Machine

Author: 
Publisher(s): 
Release Date: 
Tuesday, January 1, 2013
Grade:
A
# of Pages: 
320
Coming to a TV Near You!

This novel is currently being developed for television by FOX.

Comic scribe Warren Ellis returns to long prose with Gun Machine, his first novel since 2007.  Perhaps best known as the creator of popular graphic novels such as Transmetropolitan and RED, Ellis should soon gain notoriety as a gifted crime author and the creator of the most disturbing villian this side of Hannibal Lecter.

Set in a gritty version of New York City, Gun Machine follows Detective John Tallow and his search for a madman.  After the violent death of his partner at a tenement building in the slums, Tallow makes a horrific discovery in a locked yet seemingly unoccupied apartment.  Every room is filled with guns of all makes, shapes, and sizes.  They seem to map out some sort of pattern with plenty of empty spaces to be filled in.  Upon initial investigation it appears that each gun can be connected to an unsolved murder in the city.  Assigned with the task of solving hundreds of murders, Tallow teams with a couple of interesting characters from the CSU (Crime Scene Unit) in an attempt to stop decades of carnage.

Ellis effectively portrays Detective Tallow as an intelligently flawed human being.  Tallow is a literary junkie with such a mountainous pile of novels in the backseat of his car that another character jokes the Dead Sea Scrolls may be found beneath.  His apartment is even more of a mess - filled with additional books and music in such abundance that it's difficult to even remember what he owns.  Without having time to recover from his partner's death Tallow battles his own emotional pain while descending into the mind of a psychopath.

The aforementioned serial killer, known only as The Hunter, is a lunatic of the highest degree.  Portions of the novel are actually told from The Hunter's perspective in which he views two different cities silmuatenously - the Manhatta of old occupied by Native Americans and the concrete jungle of present day Manhattan.  That perspective switch is enthralling and constantly forces the reader to ponder just what is going on.  Ellis, an Englishman, describes New York and it's associated violence in such graphic detail that Tarantino would cringe at the page.

Admittedly, I was excited to read this novel the moment I saw the preview on the back cover and it does not disappoint.  One of the final paragraphs actually made the hair on the back of neck stand on end.  Gun Machine is a delicious blend of crime drama and serial killer thriller.  Highly recommended for fans of television police procedural shows looking for a break from the norm.
 
Cody Endres
Review by Cody Endres
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