Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Everything I Tell You Is A Lie - Fingers Murphy...

I am extraordinarily busy for February. With S.O. in Tokyo for a month doing Very Arty Things with Very Arty People, I have to look after myself for a change. Between 8 hours of working, 2 hours of traveling, and 2 dogs who demand 2 walks plus 2 hours of attention each day, I have very little time for little luxuries such as eating. The washing up can wait until March and yes I am wearing the same clothes for the fourth day in a row. And?

Anyway, February posts will mostly be very short reviews of books I have absolutely loved recently, and first up is Everything I tell You Is A Lie, by Fingers Murphy.

This novella was a fantastic change of pace. I mean, I love hardboiled noir drama as much as the next guy, but Everything I Tell You... is something different. To start with it's one of the most intelligent things I've read recently. I don't mean other stuff around is dumb, or that the book is high-brow or pretentious. The protagonist is anything but, but this is the first thing I've read by Fingers and one of my first thoughts was: this writer is a smart guy. Not wanky, not showing off, just smart.

Second is the pace. It feels slow, as if the story is feeling its way. And I don't mean slow reading. One page rips to the next, and it's very hard to put down, but the story - presented as an interview with a prison psychologist and a series of reminiscences - takes its own time. There are no plot twists and turns purely for the sake of action, but everything happens naturally. The whole is beautifully constructed with a superb balance of surprise and that familiar noir feeling of inevitability. An aura of menace inhabits the whole.

One of the most original and interesting noirs I've read recently, and it certainly won't be the last Fingers Murphy book I read. And the writing... oh the words. At times, you can't help but feel that special shiver you get when a paragraph is EXACTLY right. I mean perfect. It's not showy writing, it just feels right.

In short: really, really, effing good noir. Highly recommended. Whatever you need: If you're a noir fan you should read this book.

I hunted down Fingers, and you can find more here.


  1. Good to know. I nabbed this one up when it was for free on the Kindle Store and will give it a go sooner than later. Apparently, the guy uses a pseudonym because he's a big time lawyer. Interesting character for sure. Thanks for the review, man.

  2. I can't remember if I got it free or paid because it was waiting for a few weeks on my kindle. But boy was it worth whatever I gave and more once I started it. Different from anything else I've read for quite a while.