Gerard Brennan’s ‘The Point’ may be compact and bijou but, to be honest, that is the only ‘negative’ (and it isn’t really even that) that I have with it – as a novella … even a longish one … it left me wanting more!
The characters were all interesting and different, very easy to distinguish from each other with their own little ticks. The self-acknowledged charmer Paul’s dialogue never clashed/mashed with the sardonic Rachel; the pace started off fast and never let up but, at the same time, never felt rushed; the plot was relatively simple but that simply let Gerard tell a great yarn, with his characters, without having to resort to any literary (or genre) tricks.
For the majority of the book there was a very obvious undertone of Norn Irish humour (dark and mischievous) that softened the edges of violence and violent people and then, right near the end, the humour stopped and the dark took over completely. Again, this is not a criticism as, from the moment where a character was ended with a simple twist of the neck, the tone simply lifted up a visceral notch to bring you, breathless, to the end.
I don’t think that Gerard was out to prove anything with this book but, for me, he has simply solidified himself as up there with the best of the new crop of Irish (and especially Norn Irish, of course) crime writers.
Publisher: Pulp Press; First edition (31 Oct 2011)