From Publishers Weekly
This second collection of edgy new crime fiction showcases some of Britain's best young talent. In Christopher Brookmyre's "Bampot Central," two hapless youths straight out of Trainspotting hold up an Edinburgh post office. For the off-duty copper caught in the ensuing impromptu hostage situation, taking charge comes easy?maybe a little too easy. A bitter, retired Queen's Counsel watches the other inhabitants of an old-folks home with increasing annoyance in Mary Scott's "An Hour After Lunch." They're a petty and annoying bunch. They're also dying off at an alarming rate, and society's indifference to the aged gives the murderer a very effective shelter. Phil Lovesey (son of esteemed crime master Peter Lovesey) writes from the point of view of a killer in "Strangulation," repeatedly returning to the details of the actual murder to let us know just what a long, drawn out, drooly mess of a business strangling a woman is. The first Fresh Blood showed us the likes of Michael Dibden and John Harvey. This latest collection is occasionally risky and not uniformly impressive, but it offers reason to imagine that some of the talent on display will soon crack crime fiction's top rank.
Copyright 1998 Reed Business Information, Inc.
From Kirkus Reviews
If they don't watch out, editors Ripley and Jakubowski, whose Fresh Blood (1997) seemed the anthology with something to offend everybody, will find themselves getting snapped up by old ladies of both sexes. Of the 15 entries here, two (by Christine Green and R.D. Wingfield) are by authors you'd never expect to find in such rough company; two more (Lauren Henderson's Agatha Christie update and Charles Higson's Poe homage) have their roots in the distant past; at least four (Higson's car thief, Christopher Brookmyre's bank robbers, Carol Anne Davis's social worker, and editor Ripley's impotent avenger) get their ironic, and generally comic, effects from the oldest dodge in the book, the hero's incompetence. Of the other contributors--Mary Scott, John Tilsley, Phil Lovesey, Ken Bruen, Iain Sinclair, John L. Williams, John Baker, and editor Jakubowski--only Tilsley, Bruen, and Sinclair go for the kitchen-sink realism of the first Fresh Blood. Given their edgy milieu, the best stories--Lovesey's strangulation in reading time, Ripley's cuckolded gambler, and Green's transvestite wife-killer--are in many ways the most traditional. Altogether, a stronger collection than its in-your-face predecessor. -- Copyright ©1998, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved.