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Two-Way Split [Paperback]

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Item description for Two-Way Split by Allan Guthrie...

Edinburgh, Dead of Winter.

Robin Greaves is an armed robber whose professionalism is put to the test when he discovers his wife has been sleeping with a fellow gang-member. Robin plans the ultimate revenge, but things go from bad to worse when the gang bungles a post office robbery, leaving carnage in their wake. Suddenly they are stalked by the police, sleazy private eyes, and a cold-blooded killer who may be the only one not looking for a cut of the money.

This lean and muscular crime caper with a seriously twisted dark side was shortlisted for the CWA Debut Dagger in the UK. TWO-WAY SPLIT is an explosive introduction to the raw talent of Allan Guthrie, one of crime fiction's hottest new writers.

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Item Specifications...

Pages   188
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 8.56" Width: 5.58" Height: 0.52"
Weight:   0.57 lbs.
Binding  Softcover
Publisher   Point Blank
ISBN  1930997493  
ISBN13  9781930997493  

Availability  0 units.

More About Allan Guthrie

Register your artisan biography and upload your photo! ALLAN GUTHRIE is the author of Two-Way Split and Kiss Her Goodbye, which was nominated for Edgar, Anthony, and Gumshoe Awards. He lives in Edinburgh, Scotland.

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Product Categories

1Books > Subjects > Literature & Fiction > General > Contemporary
2Books > Subjects > Literature & Fiction > General
3Books > Subjects > Mystery & Thrillers > Thrillers > General

Reviews - What do customers think about Two-Way Split?

Going Postal  May 23, 2008
Allan Guthrie's "Two-Way Split" is a neat little gem of noir - pulp crime fiction reminiscent of Elmore Leonard or James Ellroy. Set in the damp, cold, and dismal Edinburgh winter, it is the story of second-rate criminal Robin Greaves and his conniving wife Carol, who's having an affair with Eddie, Robin's Robin's friend and fellow gang member. But the naive Robin suspects mischief, and hires a comically sleazy private detective to get the goods on his wife. But when the trio botches an armed robbery at the local post office, all Hell breaks loose, and Robin's plans for revenge take a bloody, and increasingly more complex, detour. For what starts as a fairly straightforward cops-and-robbers caper spins into a byzantine maze of psychosis and paranoia, sweetened by tough-guy Pearce, the recently released ex-con who's now breaking legs for the resident Edinburgh loan shark. Fate crosses Robin's gang-who-couldn't-shoot-straight with the deadly Pearce's path, taking a few twists along the way to a storyline that unexpectedly unravels a few decades of sordid family history.

Guthrie's dialog is lean and crisp, setting a lively pace through chronological vignettes keeping the well-developed characters connected in space and time. Style wise, I was reminded of Jim Thompson's classic "The Getaway", though towards the end Guthrie's writing got a bit bogged down in trying to help the reader stay abreast with Robin and his whacked-out crew - you'll find that the loot isn't the only thing that's split in this twisted jewel of a story.

While this may be a notch below recent works from Duane Swierczynski, Charlie Huston, or Ken Bruen, it takes a creative spin down a well-traveled road, is highly entertaining, and well worth the time and money.
Powerful and violent Scottish crime novel  Feb 18, 2008
Ian Rankin is Edinburgh's best known crime writer ,thanks to the Rebus novels.Guthrie also sets this -his debut novel-in Scotland's capital city ,shown here in a light that would not please the City Fathers or the Tourist Board.This is not the Venice of the North ,as some have dubbed the city,but rather life as it is lived by the criminal underclass and the impoverished.It takes place largely on drug riddled .unemployment rife sink estates where decay and poverty are endemic and loan sharks enforce harsh retribution on defaulters.

It opens in the office of a failing private investigation agency where Robin Greaves is receiving bad news from the detective he has engaged -his wife Carol is indeed having sex with his partner ,Eddie.The trio are an armed robbery gang,and despite Robin being a seething mass of anger against the others in the gang they go ahead with the robbery palnned for that afternoon.In the course of the robbery Hilda a postal clerk is killed by Robin .She is the mother of Pearce ,a strong arm man for the local loan shark Cooper ,and a man who has served 10 years in gaol for killing the drug dealer who supplied his late sister with the drugs that killed her.Pearce wants revenge and sets out to track down the kilers and kill them.The PI -whose nose Greaves broke on hearing the news about Carol-saw the killing and tries to do a deal with Pearce-the name in exchange for the money from the robbery
Events move with speed and momentum and they involve a presence named Don who may or may not have killed Carol -and who seems dangerously unbalanced.Things move to a blood drenched climax in Greaves's apartment .

This is a violent book and the dialogue and narrative are saturated with expletives ,casual sex and drug taking and if you are angered by these ingredients please avoid the book because it needs a strong stomach .None of the characters are likeable although Perace is shown as having a tender side as evidenced in his relationship with Ailsa ,a debtor who he helps out by warning off her abusive boyfriend .

The book is tightly plotted,has a small dramatis personae and moves like a speeding bullet .It is hardboiled to the max and wholly without superfluous words or plot strands.Everybody in it is damaged emotionally -from Robin whose promise as a pianistic prodigy foundered on illness,to Cooper-a borderline childmolester .
These are damaged people in a damaged society and you should only read about them if modern noir is your thing
Extremely promising young noir author  Dec 30, 2007
Allan Guthire's Blithe Pyschopaths, renamed Two Way Split, is a tremendous debut effort. This is hard boiled noir, and not for those of tender sensibilities.

The Edinburgh winter in which the novel takes place is as stark as the tightly constructed plot. The viewpoint moves rapidly from character to character. Sophisticated writers can convey a lot of nuance to the reader with this format and Guthrie is more than up to the task.

Starting with a PI looking into a cheating wife, followed by a botched post office robbery the novel moves towards a tidy and surprisingly moral conclusion. Hugely flawed and often ironic characters dominate the action, but their flaws do not keep the reader from caring about them.

It is the dialog that remains with one long after putting the book down. Whether it the interior dialog of an acrophobic as he dangles from a poorly supported piece of scaffolding or the explicit dialog between a child abuser and the person sent to do him serious hard, Guthrie never fails to deliver crackling, witty repertoire.

Definitely recommended.

"Revenge is an important part of my grieving process."  Aug 9, 2007

Reading Guthrie's hard-boiled crime dramas is tantamount to entering another dimension, a twilight zone where none of the usual rules apply and Darwin's theory is ascendant. Not for the faint of heart, these characters are hardly nuanced: their world is black and white, the criminal code of honor as convoluted as a fun house mirror. You can be sure that the violence that explodes in the first chapter is only the prelude to the mayhem that follows, as Guthrie's assortment of eccentrics bully and blunder their way through a criminal underground that only respects force. In the netherworld of take-no-prisoners Edinburgh noir, Two-Way Split promises a rough ride, men who live by their wits and their weaknesses, the predators and their prey.

After a post office robbery goes bad, an innocent woman killed in the commission of the crime, the thieves slink back to their lair to wait out the heat. Their second such robbery, this one is an unqualified success except for the death of the woman and the fact that none of the thieves are trustworthy. Robin Greaves' wife, Carol, has been having an affair with the other gang member, Eddie and Robin has the surveillance photographs to prove it. Even worse, the trio has been followed from the crime scene by a suspicious PI who isn't afraid to take advantage of their predicament. But the really bad news is the determination of a brokenhearted man, the son of murdered Hilda Pearce, just released from prison for taking out the junkie responsible for his sister's death. The loss of his mother a bitter blow, Pearce is beyond grief, his every waking moment focused on revenge.

The protagonist of Guthrie's Hard Man, Pearce is the great equalizer in this novel. While Robin, Carol and Eddie act out their macabre dance, Pearce goes into action, tipped off as to the identity of Hilda's killer. On a rendezvous with revenge, he has no way of knowing the insanity that waits at the end of his quest. All the monsters are out of the closet and Pearce is about to meet them face to face. Gruesome and brutal, the stuff of nightmares, Guthrie winds up his blood-soaked tale with an over-the-top craziness that follows these miscreants wherever they go, Pearce matching their outrageous actions with his own. While this flawed hero is a bit hinky and truly conscienceless villains run amok, the plot is a wild ride, the brakes burned out along the way. The tough, honorable Pearce is a winner, a vigilante with a soul. Luan Gaines/2007.

A first-rate gritty, twisty modern noir  Nov 13, 2006
Al Guthrie's TWO-WAY SPLIT is written in the same rich tradition as noir pioneers like Wade Miller, Charles Williams, and James M. Cain. (In fact, TWS is the perfect modern equivalent of those vintage, fabulous Gold Medal PBOs that crime fiction readers enjoy.) But TWS is very much set in today's gritty Edinburgh. The plot is twisty; the pace breakneck; the prose muscular; and the dialogue laconic -- all the right ingredients to brew a wicked stew. And yet just enough humanity manages to peeks in by the end. Robin Greaves holds up a post office. Simple enough, right? But the robbery goes awry. A killer named Pearce's "mum" works for the post office. Greaves soon faces more problems than he ever bargained for, starting with escaping the ticked-off Pearce. The double-crosses and intrigue ripen this tough crime drama. Desperate, savage types are pitted against each other and you're swept along spellbound, unable to stop reading until you finally see how it all shakes out. If noir is your thing, TWO-WAY SPLIT should go at the top of your reading list.

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