Warren Ellis reimagines New York City as a puzzle with the most dangerous pieces of all: guns.
After a shootout claims the life of his partner in a condemned tenement building on Pearl Street, Detective John Tallow unwittingly stumbles across an apartment stacked high with guns. When examined, each weapon leads to a different, previously unsolved murder. Someone has been killing people for 20 years or more and storing the weapons together for some inexplicable purpose.
Confronted with the sudden emergence of hundreds of unsolved homicides, Tallow soon discovers that he's walked into a veritable deal with the devil. An unholy bargain that has made possible the rise of some of Manhattan's most prominent captains of industry. A hunter who performs his deadly acts as a sacrifice to the old gods of Manhattan, who may, quite simply, be the most prolific murderer in New York City's history.
Warren Ellis's body of work has been championed by Wired for its "merciless action" and "incorruptible bravery", and steadily amassed legions of diehard fans. His newest audiobook builds on his accomplishments like never before, announcing Ellis as one of today's most daring thriller writers. This is 21st-century suspense writ large. This is Gun Machine.
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Perfect marriage between writer and narrator
Ellis' gritty prose paired with Reg E. Cathey's narration give this whole piece a level of street, humor and realism that makes for an enjoyable listen.
Ellis takes what is on the surface could be an episode of Criminal Minds and infuses it with great banter and a unique take on pathology/mythology. The banter between cops is funny without being campy.
Smart writing. Good story. Wonderful narrator. More by him, please!
Maybe 3 stars?
I am ambivalent about "Gun Machine". I won't recount the plot points, because so many other reviewers have done so already, and done it very well. PROS: I really, really liked the writing style, the author is showing his comic book roots and really knows how to plot out a story. And the story starts great, with immediate action and an eerie mystery, and some funny parts too. Finally, without revealing any spoilers, there's a plot twist involving the killer that I rather liked. Not a big surprise or a big deal, but handled in a very matter-of-fact way that just appealed to me. The narrator does a good job and definitely has a way with delivering tricky/conic dialogue. CONS: But it all collapses in the last third of the novel, which is kinda slow. When the ending finally arrives, it is abrupt and flat. Also, most of the characters are common stereotypes. I am particularly tired of the lesbian with the rapacious sexual appetite who can get any beautiful, hot young thing the male protagonist/author desires; she seems to be everywhere lately.