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Crime: A Novel Paperback – May 26, 2009


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 344 pages
  • Publisher: W. W. Norton & Company (May 26, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 9780393335507
  • ISBN-13: 978-0393335507
  • ASIN: 039333550X
  • Product Dimensions: 0.6 x 0.1 x 0.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 5.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (22 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #443,400 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Starred Review. Welsh's most coherent and satisfying novel in a decade showcases the Scottish author's inimitable combination of dark realism, satire and psychological insight. Having been placed on leave after suffering an emotional meltdown, Edinburgh detective Ray Lennox, introduced in Filth (1998), and Trudi, his fiancée, fly to Miami for a few days to relax and plan their wedding, but from the start the trip is a nightmare. Lennox gobbles antidepressants and begins drinking again in a desperate frenzy, but things really tilt out of control when he parties with some locals, who reacquaint him with an old obsession, cocaine. One of his new friends has a 10-year-old daughter, who's been targeted by an organized ring of pedophiles. Can Lennox save the girl and redeem himself? The main action alternates with chapters set in Scotland, written from a claustrophobic second-person point-of-view. Welsh offers no easy answers in this complicated, unsettling and at times beautiful novel. (Sept.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Review

“A triumph . . . a great, redemptive book . . . leaves you wanting more.” (Euan Ferguson - The Guardian)

“Starred Review. Lolita in reverse. . . . Welsh applies his unique artistic gifts to a more conventional story line and succeeds admirably.” (Booklist)

More About the Author

Irvine Welsh is the author of Trainspotting, Ecstasy, Glue, Porno, Filth, Marabou Stork Nightmares, The Acid House, If You Liked School, You'll Love Work, The Bedroom Secrets of the Master Chefs and Reheated Cabbage. He divides his time between Florida, Ireland, and Scotland.

Customer Reviews

Irvine Welsh is an amazing writer.
Sparx
Normally I like this, but I found the subject matter of sexually abused children to be too descriptive and too disturbing.
Jay M. Graf
Yet this book at times reads a bit too much like a film pitch of a novel, and one expects better from Welsh.
Ray H

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
Wielding language with the same deft authority as in his previous novels, the scathingly articulate Welsh delivers a powerful story of a man haunted by his recent failures, DI Ray Lennox of the Edinburgh PD. Breaking down after the traumatizing case of a murdered little girl, Lennox has succumbed to the sweat-soaked nightmares of his failures on the job, vainly trying to save victims from the monsters who prey on them. Attending NA and gulping down prescribed antidepressants, Lennox and fiancé, Trudi, fly to Miami for a much-needed vacation, he in an effort to clear his mind, she with a "Perfect Bride" magazine and growing guest list in hand. Caught up in wedding plans, Trudi is flummoxed when Ray goes completely off the track; she has failed to notice ominous signs of Ray's further unraveling. He stops taking his medication, his internal demons soon reawakened. It isn't long before the thirst is upon him, Ray seeking oblivion in alcohol, which only exacerbates his life problems and triggers the urge for cocaine.

Quite literally, Welsh's protagonist is a mess, an emotional and mental wreck bedeviled by memories of the little girl he couldn't save, his thoughts filled with the degenerates he interviewed while searching for the missing girl, their twisted world-views eating into his soul until he sees such men everywhere: "Lennox was too sensitive to cope with the savagery that surrounded him in Serious Crimes." A beautifully flawed protagonist, this tough cop is driven to his knees by the evil that assaults helpless children, even Trudi unable to break through the wall of pain that threatens to overwhelm him. As his drinking accelerates, the inevitable happens- a bitter argument.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By AZ Mutley VINE VOICE on February 18, 2009
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Mr Welsh at his best. His narrative of Florida and America was very insightful from the Scottish point of view he penned this novel from. I later found out he resides there. No wonder it was so good.

The plot moves back and forth between the past and it's ghosts to the present day and the pressing matter of saving a child from a gang of molesters. The characters were so vivid and the plot was paced such that I found I could not put the book down.

It comes across as a more mature read than the likes of train spotting. One of his best works I feel.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Stephanie De Pue VINE VOICE on May 28, 2009
Format: Paperback
"Crime," a new novel by Scottish author Irvine Welsh, now comes to us in paperback. Welsh is the critically-acclaimed author of Trainspotting, (made into a movie of the same name, Trainspotting, by Gaelic director Danny Boyle, who recently won an Oscar for Slumdog Millionaire.) Welsh has also penned the cult classics Porno; Filth; and The Bedroom Secrets of the Master Chefs: A Novel. In "Crime," Welsh seems to have borrowed a page from his best-selling countryman Ian Rankin, penning a British mystery/police procedural/thriller partially set in Edinburgh, Scotland -- as are Rankin's police procedurals -- and in glitzy, glamorous, and down-on-its heels Florida, U.S.A. Mind you, with his outstanding literary gifts, Welsh has given us far more than a police procedural here. Could it be characterized as tartan noir? Who knows. It's a British mystery as written by a Scot, perhaps tougher and more bloody-minded than the average run of mysteries; it does have that dark Scots humor; but he's certainly considered a higher-brow of author than a mere mystery writer...

Welsh gives us police detective inspector Ray Lennox, of the Edinburgh P.D., (as Rankin has given us John Rebus.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By wendy sullivan on November 21, 2008
Format: Hardcover
Having never read one of Irvine Welsh's books before but being a fan of the movie "Trainspotting", I picked this book up on a whim. It is one of the best books I have read in a long time.

The protagonist Ray Lennox is a Detective Inspector with the Edinburgh, Scotland Police Department. Haunted by a murdered child case, Ray is forced to go on medical leave and heads to South Florida with his fiance for a little R+R. Ray gets caught up in a situation ultimately being responsible for a ten year old girl he doesn't know.

The book switches back and forth between the present day, on vacation in Florida and the case that haunts Ray back in Scotland. The pace and tempo are superb. Just when you think you know what is going to happen you are hit from a completely different direction.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Tree Bee on February 7, 2011
Format: Hardcover
Crime shows Welsh really stretching himself in the construction of his narrative - experimenting and playing with tenses and viewpoints, and it has to be noted he does it very well indeed.
He also creates and develops a typically claustrophobic storyline, with a colourful cast of characters. There is much less reliance on the vernacular devices that have been his trademark for so long, and Crime demonstrates a growing maturity. Even so, Welsh still captures the chaotic mindset of the obsessive, of the dark desires of humanity, of the seedy underbelly of life.
The ending peters out a little timidly, compared to say the shock ending of Filth, but there is enough leading up to that to satisfy old fans and gain new ones.
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