Crime

( 6 )

Overview

"Now bereft of both youth and ambition, Detective Inspector Ray Lennox is recovering from a mental breakdown induced by occupational stress and cocaine abuse, and a particularly horrifying child sex murder case back in Edinburgh. On vacation in Florida, his fiancee, Trudi, is only interested in planning their forthcoming wedding, and a bitter argument sees a deranged Lennox cast adrift in strip-mall Florida. He meets two women in a seedy bar, ending up at their apartment for a coke binge interrupted by two menacing strangers. After the ensuing
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Crime: A Novel

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Overview

"Now bereft of both youth and ambition, Detective Inspector Ray Lennox is recovering from a mental breakdown induced by occupational stress and cocaine abuse, and a particularly horrifying child sex murder case back in Edinburgh. On vacation in Florida, his fiancee, Trudi, is only interested in planning their forthcoming wedding, and a bitter argument sees a deranged Lennox cast adrift in strip-mall Florida. He meets two women in a seedy bar, ending up at their apartment for a coke binge interrupted by two menacing strangers. After the ensuing brawl, Lennox finds himself alone with Tianna, the terrified ten-year-old daughter of one of the women, and a sheet of instructions that make him responsible for her immediate safety." Lennox takes her across the state to an exclusive marina on the Gulf of Mexico, and quickly suspects that he has stumbled into a hornets' nest: a gang of organised paedophiles, every bit as threatening as the monster that haunted him back in Edinburgh. His priority is to protect the abused girl, but can the edgy Lennox trust his own instincts? And can he negotiate her inappropriate sexuality, as well as his own mental fragility, while still trying to get to grips with the Edinburgh murder and the emotions it unleashes in him?
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Editorial Reviews

The Guardian
A triumph . . . a great, redemptive book . . . leaves you wanting more.— Euan Ferguson
Booklist
“Starred Review. Lolita in reverse. . . . Welsh applies his unique artistic gifts to a more conventional story line and succeeds admirably.”
Euan Ferguson - The Guardian
“A triumph . . . a great, redemptive book . . . leaves you wanting more.”
Publishers Weekly

Welsh's most coherent and satisfying novel in a decade showcases the Scottish author's inimitable combination of dark realism, satire and psychological insight. Having been placed on leave after suffering an emotional meltdown, Edinburgh detective Ray Lennox, introduced in Filth(1998), and Trudi, his fiancée, fly to Miami for a few days to relax and plan their wedding, but from the start the trip is a nightmare. Lennox gobbles antidepressants and begins drinking again in a desperate frenzy, but things really tilt out of control when he parties with some locals, who reacquaint him with an old obsession, cocaine. One of his new "friends" has a 10-year-old daughter, who's been targeted by an organized ring of pedophiles. Can Lennox save the girl and redeem himself? The main action alternates with chapters set in Scotland, written from a claustrophobic second-person point-of-view. Welsh offers no easy answers in this complicated, unsettling and at times beautiful novel. (Sept.)

Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Library Journal

A little R & R is just the ticket: take it easy, see new sights. Thus Edinburgh policeman Ray Lennox, a supporting character in Welsh's Filth, is aboard a transatlantic flight bound for Florida along with his fiancée, Trudi. Ray carries a lot of baggage for which he'll have to pay extra: his last case involved the murder of a girl who had been sexually molested, and his failure to save her has fueled his chemical dependencies (this is a Welsh novel, after all). Once in Florida, Ray hooks up with a couple of fast Floridians, one of whom (surprise!) has a daughter targeted by a pedophile ring. Ray feels compelled to rescue her. Welsh, who now divides his time among Scotland, Ireland, and Florida, manages to inject interest into what is admittedly a recycled plot and adopts a mid-Atlantic dialect that should add to the book's appeal on this side of the pond. Never noted for his finesse, he comes up short against Dennis Lehane's Mystic River. Still, this is recommended for all larger public libraries because of name recognition (Welsh wrote Trainspotting) and because it is the perfect accompaniment to your next transatlantic flight. [See Prepub Alert, LJ5/1/08.]
—Bob Lunn

Kirkus Reviews
Dime-store psychology and half-baked moralizing undermine this character-driven police procedural. The fiction of Scotland's Welsh has traveled quite a distance from Trainspotting, as he returns to a character introduced in Filth (1998), a novel with a generic title similar to this one's. A sidekick in that book, Scottish DI Ray Lennox, takes center stage here. The investigation of a child rape and murder has left Lennox unhinged, so he is ordered to take recuperative leave with his fiancee, Trudi, in Miami. Obviously his superiors haven't read enough Florida crime fiction to realize that this cesspool isn't likely to facilitate Lennox's recovery. First he decides to discontinue the anti-depressants that have barely been keeping him afloat, and to return to the self-medication of alcohol and illicit drugs. Thus he finds himself increasingly at odds with Trudi, who is obsessed with planning the perfect wedding while Lennox's psyche continues to spiral downward. What was intended as a romantic getaway to take Lennox far from his troubles instead leads to a binge in which (what a coincidence!) he stumbles upon an American pedophile ring. Against considerable odds (and risking his crumbling relationship with Trudi in the process), he attempts to rescue a young girl in Florida as some sort of compensation for his failure to do the same in Scotland. A clever stylistic strategy is to alternate conventional, third-person, present-tense narration with second-person past-tense flashbacks (thus allowing the reader to enter Lennox's mind as "you"). Yet the novel is weakest when Welsh tries to provide the underpinnings for his protagonist's obsession in a boyhood trauma and dysfunctional family.Though Lennox is "depressed, lonely, and hung-over in a strange place, without his medication and possibly more vulnerable than he'd ever been in his life," he's ultimately the closest thing to a hero that the novelist has allowed himself to create. A good man in a very bad world, Lennox deserves a thematically richer novel.
From the Publisher
“A triumph . . . A thoughtful, rather brave take on pedophile rings. Crime is not destined to become a cult book. It is better than that . . . a great, redemptive book.”
Observer
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780393335507
  • Publisher: Norton, W. W. & Company, Inc.
  • Publication date: 5/26/2009
  • Pages: 344
  • Sales rank: 423,475
  • Product dimensions: 8.22 (w) x 5.50 (h) x 0.84 (d)

Meet the Author

Irvine Welsh
Irvine Welsh is the author of eight previous works of fiction, most recently If You Liked School, You’ll Love Work.
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Customer Reviews

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