New Statesman


Alan Trotter’s Muscle turns the noir crime novel on its head

Trotter’s darkly comic writing comes so hard-boiled you need a knuckleduster to crack it.


Alan Trotter’s debut novel begins, as so many crime novels do, with a dead body – in this case that of a man flung “spinning and broken, his arms snapping at him like whipping rope” from a train by two men, who then proceed to analyse their actions. “So, what did we think of that?” one asks the other, who replies: “Instinctively I suppose I enjoyed it. It’s obvious enough why. There is inherent drama in the transformation.” It seems quite clear within the first half-page then, that Muscle is no standard crime novel, nor is Trotter interested in adhering to any genre conventions. Is this, I find myself wondering, even a crime novel?


Read the full review here.



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