Sunday, March 18, 2012
Kick It Together by McDroll
This collection draws together short or flash stories previously published in Kick It and Kick It Again. Some of them are not quite crime, or not quite noir. In fact one of the stand-out features of the book is the sheer range of qualities that McDroll displays.
There is crime, and blood, and dark moments. There are gritty tales from the streets. But there is also humour, humanity, bleakness, and a lot of tension. One thing that McDroll does expertly is to humanise her subjects. These aren't larger than life characters, these are the people who live next door, people you pass in the street or at the supermarkets.
In The Trip, for example, we meet that awful family you see in the car next to you at the lights. Overloaded with everything they could possibly need for a holiday, you see the look on the man's face and feel relief that it isn't you who has to spend a fortnight with him. You wouldn't want to spend 2 minutes in that atmosphere. Ever wonder what happened to them? The tension is built superbly, and even though I saw the ending coming it is so well done that I had to laugh out loud. Other stories are homely, or as bleak as anything else coming out of Scotland right now. And amongst the darkness there's a lot of humour splashed around. A Pot of Soup is about as black as black comedy gets. Very Roald Dahl.
WPC Gemma Dixon features in a few of the stories, and there's good reason she's a favourite for many. I'd love to see a longer work featuring her, or else a collection all to herself. I've also met local scallies Beeny and Jango before, and hopefully they will also return in the future. In fact, one of the strongest feelings coming out of this short collection is that I instantly want to read more by the author. Not always the case even with writers and books I like. McDroll: very morish.
So it's lucky she's just started publishing her series 'The Wrong Delivery'. From the opening chapter that I've read it seems to have a lot of the darkness and humour I found in Kick It Together. Count me in!
More from McDroll at I Meant To Read That.