From Publishers Weekly
Bowker concocts a heady blend of satire and action in his U.S. debut about British mobsters and a writer who gets caught in their web. Billy Dye gets his big break after writing a magazine feature on Manchester crime kingpin Malcolm Priest. Dye's editor had transformed his serious article about the gangster's brutality into a puff piece on Priest's charitable side, and Priest so enjoys the fawning article that he asks Dye to write his biography. But the irreverent Dye does not endear himself to Priest, and it's not long before the kingpin hires a hitman to kill him. Luckily, that hitman turns out to be a childhood friend of Dye's named Steve Ellis, now known in professional circles as "Rawhead." He decides to hide Dye and save him from Priest's assassination attempts, but Dye sorely tries Rawhead's patience by making an ill-advised effort to contact a cop friend, who then becomes one of Priest's victims. Bowker spices up the subsequent mano a mano struggle between Priest and Rawhead with a few savvy, humorous touches, such as his exploration of Dye's lifelong fascination with the horror genre and an outrageous plot twist in which Dye's agent and his publisher fall victim to the carnage. Bowker's tight, smart style keeps the action clipping along, and his characters range from tragically hip to comically thuggish. For readers who like their mobsters with a side order of smart satiric writing-and these days, who doesn't?-Bowker is a welcome addition to the U.S. scene.
Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information, Inc.
"A deftly drawn masterpiece-well written, with a contemporary twist."
"As it happens I knew these streets for nearly twenty years, and this tough, fabulous, smart-mouth novel captures them perfectly. The Sopranos meets The Jackal in a part of England Agatha Christie knew absolutely nothing about. This is hard, funny, and scary--try it."
--Lee Child, New York Times bestselling author of Without Fail and Running Blind
"This is a very funny book... I loved it."
--The Independent on Sunday
"Grotesque, original and murderously funny, it conforms to no existing crime template. We are sailing uncharted waters and there are sharks all around...Bowker tells his bloody tale with wit, invention and a raw energy that boils off the page. It is the kind of go that traditionally invigorates the pulps, but Bowker distills it here into a rare vintage that does wonders for his chosen genre."
--Literary Review, December 2002
"I have a confession to make; I wanted to kill Billy Dye too. It's not that I didn't like him--far from it--it's just that, like Malcolm Priest, I thought Dye was just a little bit too cocky. Funny, yes, but cocky enough to survive even a hail of bullets- so, of course, I was itching to see if he would...A novel that is wickedly funny. In fact, I'm putting [The Death You Deserve] aside for a few weeks and then plan to read it again before passing it around to some of my most deserving friends."
"A deftly drawn masterpiece-well written, with a contemporary twist." (City Life
"As it happens I knew these streets for nearly twenty years, and this tough, fabulous, smart-mouth novel captures them perfectly." (Lee Child, New York Times bestselling author of Without Fail and Running Blind)
"This is a very funny book...I loved it." (The Independent on Sunday
"Grotesque, original and murderously funny, it conforms to no existing crime template." (Literary Review, December 2002