Serial Killers Incorporated is a dark urban fantasy novel by Andy Remic and published by Anarchy Books.
Callaghan is a drug and drink fuelled, womanising, amoral, hardcore photographer for the tabloid rag Black & White. He's a guy with very few redeeming features (if any) and his journey on the road to self annihilation is becoming quite a rocky one.
He is in way too deep with his mexican stripper girlfriend Mia and even deeper with Sophie - the wife of the infamous gun-runner Vladimir "Vodka" Katchevsy. Then people start to die in some very gruesome ways and Callaghan is somehow caught in the middle. It's a situation that even his 2.9 million apartment, Porsche GT3 and corrupt politician contacts can't solve. To top it all off Callaghan is approached by a serial killer who brings with him a unique and very dangerous proposition.
The only way it could get worse was if Validimir somehow found out he'd been screwing his missus...
One of the quote's I have seen for Remic's work is as the Tarantino of fantasy (written by fellow reviewers "Fantasy & SciFi Lovin'" and present on the cover of this book) and that has got to be the most accurate way of describing his style - following on from this logic Serial Killers Incorporated has got to be his Resevoir Dogs moment (my favorite Tarantino film). It's violent, rude and yet so stylish that you just have to love it, but be warned it isn't for the faint hearted and if you are easily offended then look away now and start some needlecraft or something.
Still here? good, the novel begins with Callaghan in a quite tricky situation and it quickly becomes clear that he really isn't a nice guy, by his own admission he has less morals than a politician and more greed than a banker, he will lie, cheat, screw and do just about anything he feels like without a moment's consideration for anyone else, the ultimate hedonist - and he's the good guy of the novel!, sort of set's the tone really.
As you can imagine it's not a book where you are going to like or relate to many of the characters but the quality of Remic's writing more than makes up for this, solid and easy to read prose (if somewhat punctuated with profanities) there is a real edge to the narrative and it feels very much like a physcological thriller, I was often reminded of J Robert King as the feeling is very similiar to his writing (but with more sex and violence) and yes it is very dark.
The fantastical elements are downplayed and it isn't really until you are more than half way through the book that any fantasy creeps in, this helps to really ground the reader and create that suspension of disbelief. Despite the hedonistic and depraved protagonist I found myself still caring about what happened to him, partly due to the way Remic manages to humanise the character but also due to the fact that compared to some of the bad guys he's pretty much a saint! Lurching from one disaster to the next, you've just got to feel for a guy who get's so much thrown at him in such a short space of time.
As with the other Remic novels i've read the pace is faster than a roadrunner who's late for dinner while the plot has more twists than the Iraq Inquiry. I loved the ending, a fantastic revelation that just manages to complete the book somehow.
Completely unrelenting and pretty much unmatched in style and pace - it's like the literary equivelent of a legal high and should come with a health warning on the cover!
Written by Antony, 11 May 2011.