Russell James Slaughter Music

ISBN 13: 9780749002053

Slaughter Music

9780749002053: Slaughter Music

Tim Hawk is young, virginal – and a hit-man. He plans his assassinations well, rehearsing them with cool detachment, and his professionalism makes him a rising star in Kazan’s gang. Hawk’s only other interest, an unexpected love for baroque opera – Handel, Telemann and Purcell – is kept concealed. When Kazan returns from the Ukraine with his beautiful young bride-to-be, the naive and vulnerable Irena, Hawk presents the pair with a macabre wedding present. Other guests are shocked, but Kazan and Irena are intrigued. Then Kazan, fatefully, charges Hawk with protecting his prized young bride – half Kazan’s age, much the same age as Tim Hawk.
“When beauty’s the prize
What mortal fears dying?”
It isn’t only Kazan’s marriage that is vulnerable. His empire is under siege. As threats and danger mount, Kazan’s marriage and criminal empire are undermined and he finds himself betrayed and let down on all sides. The only people he can rely on, it seems, are his wife and the trusted Hawk. On Guy Fawkes night, as a full-scale gang war breaks out, the doomed trio rush to a violent and operatic climax.


"The best since his extraordinary debut, Underground...
Few contemporary writers have so powerfully evoked the sheer bloody menace of our capital city."
- GQ magazine, June '95
"A narrative rich enough to qualify as good literature of any ilk."
- A Shot In The dark, Sept '94
"Quirky enough to make you sit up and take notice."
- Literary Review, October '94
"One of fiction's most rococco tough guys."
- Guardian, October '94
"Who says Brits can't write true hardboiled? This guy is good!
James makes it all come starkly alive, dangerous and fascinating...
Someone to watch."
- Gary Lovis, Editor, Hardboiled magazine, March '95
"If you savor the hard-boiled crime novel the way a wine connoisseur lingers over the aroma and first sip of a deliciously rare vintage, it would be a pity to bypass Slaughter Music. Russell James, an Englishman, first enticed US readers with the tough realism of Payback (1993), and now delivers a worthy successor steeped in bloody violence, Machiavellian intrigue and intricate psychological suspense."
- Michael Davis in Mostly Murder, June '95
"Not until Slaughter Music did I come in contact with British prose of the definitely hard-boiled, sharp-edged style... It was worth the wait."
- Tom Piccirilli in Mystery News

"Pulp fiction at its classiest, without a shred of redemption or lame sentimentality."
- Peter Handel in the San Francisco Chronicle

"synopsis" may belong to another edition of this title.

From Booklist:

James' stories offer readers the literary equivalent of lifting a rock and finding a writhing mass of disgusting life-forms underneath. That may seem like a backhanded compliment, but it's meant to convey the emotional wallop of James' cold, dark, powerful writing. His fourth book is the chilling tale of Alexander Kazan, a fiftysomething millionaire businessman with ties to dozens of illegal British building schemes. Kazan has just married Irena, a beautiful young Ukrainian, and is ready to settle down and enjoy the fruits of his profitable if unlawful labors. Then Kazan's brilliant, ambitious, and bizarre prote{‚}ge{‚}, Tim Hawk, brings a grisly gift to his boss' wedding party: a coffin containing the body of Kazan's rival, Clive Darren. Pleased, but knowing Darren's murder will be avenged, Kazan appoints Hawk as bodyguard to Irena, an obvious--and eventually lethal--mistake. While Hawk tries to safeguard Irena and Kazan and control the escalating violence that results from Darren's murder, he also fights--unsuccessfully, of course--a deadly attraction to Kazan's bride. Finally, amidst the fireworks of Guy Fawkes Night, passions erupt in erotic and savage barbarism that is at once haunting and terrifying. James measures out strong doses of relentless suspense, dark menace, and heart-stopping violence, concocting a story that will leave readers restless, uneasy, and absolutely mesmerized. Emily Melton

From Publishers Weekly:

As Handel's "Water Music" plays, gaunt killer Tim Hawk produces the corpse of a rival London mobster for the crimelord Al Kazan, his mentor, and Kazan's lovely young Ukrainian wife, Irena, at a party celebrating their recent nuptials. It's a very fine scene, almost worth enduring the author's tedious dissection of the murder preceding it. Hawk owes his career to Kazan, who has gone goofy over Irena, an unlikely mixture of stupidity and pluck. While the baroque music-loving Hawk is falling for Irena, Knox, Kazan's other muscle man, is being wooed by a rival gang, which includes the widow of the poor stiff Hawk used for his conjuring trick. While James's narrative often moves ahead briskly, sometimes its wheels spin in place. Hawk's orphaned beginnings are a yawn, Irena makes no sense at all and the gangland power plays seem to have little to do with the studied actions of the protagonists. The earlier Payback delivered more fully on its promise.
Copyright 1995 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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Russell James
Published by Allison & Busby
ISBN 10: 0749002050 ISBN 13: 9780749002053
New Paperback Quantity Available: 1
(Dublin, Ireland)

Book Description Allison & Busby. Paperback. Book Condition: New. UNUSED, GOOD, NOT EX-LIBRARY, shows signs of shelfwear, jacket tear, cover is different to the one on Amazon, 304 pages. When young Tim Hawk, loner and hit-man, kills Clive Darren, he expects to be stalked - but not by Irena, newly married to the gang boss of south-east London. Hawk wants only to perfect his deadly trade but finds himself drawn into an emotional whirlpool where jealousy and revenge conspire to topple the ordered structure of his life. This dark depiction of London's contemporary underworld is scored by the baroque music which so obsesses Hawk. And the modern tragedy reaches an explosive finale on 5 November, as the fateful triangle clashes and bonfires burn. Bookseller Inventory # 13019

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