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Two-Way Split

3.61  ·  Rating Details  ·  255 Ratings  ·  36 Reviews
Robin Greaves is an armed robber whose professionalism is put to the test when he discovers his wife has been sleeping with a fellow gang-member. Robin plans the ultimate revenge, but things go from bad to worse when the gang bungles a post office robbery, leaving carnage in their wake. Suddenly they are stalked by the police, sleazy private eyes, and a cold-blooded killer ...more
Paperback, 198 pages
Published October 1st 2006 by Point Blank (first published 2004)
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92nd out of 244 books — 83 voters
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 470)
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Nov 10, 2012 Tfitoby rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: black-as-night
I was beyond pleasantly surprised at just how bloody good this modern British noir was.

And I do mean bloody in multiple senses, Allan Guthrie pulls no punches in his incredible debut that owes as much to Derek Raymond as he does to James Ellroy. I was hooked from the start by his triple threaded narrative, centred around two days in the life of a convicted murderer working as a debt collector, three crazy armed robbers and the two (basically) amateur PI's that get involved in their lives as a ho
Fiona Johnson
Jan 10, 2011 Fiona Johnson rated it it was amazing
This is a book that starts with a punch on the nose and doesn't stop beating you up until you reach the final full stop where I dare you not to shake your fist at Allan Guthrie and shout with frustration, 'You bastard!' and then scream.

The book challenges our perceptions of the characters that inhabit the parts of Edinburgh where tourists won't visit, where people have to keep their heads down when they are walking so they don't step in the 'dog shit.'

This is not a charming book in any way. Robi
Les Edgerton
Jul 08, 2011 Les Edgerton rated it it was amazing

Recently, Brian Lindenmuth, my editor at Snubnose Press, made a comment about one of my forthcoming novels, The Bitch, which was a wonderful compliment to it. He said, “I thoroughly enjoyed it and I appreciated that it was a dark novel that ended darkly. So many novels are dark in the telling but pull back at the end, leaving me to shake my head.”

Normally, I wouldn’t insert myself or my own work into the review of another’s work—that smacks of crude and blatant self-promotion--but Brian’s quote
Sep 27, 2011 Josh rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: own, kindle, read_2011
Guthrie’s debut showcases fragmented moments of cruelty delivered in multi POV episodic-like crime noir. The detached from reality Robin Greaves changes perspective roles continually as the story evolves from dour husband seeking proof of a cheating spouse to armed robber with a questionable state of mind. While protagonist, Pearce, a hard man with a heart of gold and fist of full of steel delivers punchy dialog and action as he seeks retribution for harm done to a family member. Bit players and ...more
Jun 19, 2010 Adam rated it really liked it
Allan Guthrie writes full throttled, bad tempered, and merciless pulp, but with a sense of humor although a remorselessly bleak one. A breathless sequence of betrayals, murder, stupidity, torture, insanity that has as its heart a simple caper gone very wrong story.
Connie Haag
Sep 02, 2011 Connie Haag rated it it was amazing
'The inward fire eats the soft marrow away, and the internal wound bleeds on in silence' (Virgil, The Aeneid, 4.93-94)

Something got me in its grip while reading this masterpiece of noir. Something like a green, bent mamba. TWO-WAY SPLIT prevents access to oxygen by means of a steadily tightening plot. Things start out slow. Robin Greaves, a failed pianist stuck in a fragile state of mind like an animal that's hunted for too small a hole, has hired an oddly styrofoam-esque, clumsy PI. Greaves' wi
Tim Niland
Dec 28, 2011 Tim Niland rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2011-reads
Pearce is just out of prison after doing a ten year stint for murdering the drug dealer responsible for the heroin overdose of his sister. Moving in with his mother and trying to stay on the straight and narrow, he meets a woman, falls in love and borrows money from the local mob boss to buy her a huge wedding ring. She immediately dumps him, taking the ring and leaving him a big debt to the boss that he must pay by becoming an enforcer and collector. Meanwhile a most unusual gang prepares for a ...more
Colin Murtagh
I really didn't enjoy this as much as I hoped I would.
Pearce has just been released from prison after ten years for murdering a dealer responsible for the death of his sister. He's now living with his mother, and working as a debt collector for a gangster.
Robin Greaves is an armed robber whose wife has been sleeping with other member of the gang.
Through a series of misadventures the two of them end up getting involved.
It's a shame that the way we rate is a cumulative effect, for the sotry its
Jonathan Forisha
Dec 10, 2014 Jonathan Forisha rated it really liked it
Bought this on a whim while perusing modern noir. Very glad I did.

It's a quick read but features some great dialogue and a gradually-thickening plot typical of noir. The fact that the PI in this story is mostly absent nameless for most of the book felt very tongue in cheek.

The characters converge brilliantly and the twist is pulled off to great effect in a way that I (a person who typically hates twists) didn't at all mind.

My complaint with the book is that there are practically no women presen
Mike Gabor
Mar 21, 2014 Mike Gabor rated it really liked it
Shelves: british-mystery
Robin Greaves is an armed robber whose professionalism is put to the test when he discovers his wife has been sleeping with a fellow gang-member. Robin plans the ultimate revenge, but things go from bad to worse when the gang bungles a post office robbery, leaving carnage in their wake. Suddenly they are stalked by the police, sleazy private eyes, and a cold-blooded killer who may be the only one not looking for a cut of the money.

Very dark, gritty novel. The dialogue is excellent, the plotting
Keith Nixon
Jan 02, 2014 Keith Nixon rated it it was amazing
Robin Greaves is having a bad day. A PI has confirmed his wife, Carol, is having an affair with his friend and colleague, Eddie Soutar. Trouble is the three of them work together and have a long planned job today – robbing a post office. Then things go from bad to worse when Robin kills the cashier…

It’s hard to believe Two-Way Split is the author’s debut novel. This is a gritty slice of noir that develops additional layers as it progresses with plenty of twists along the way from a crime novel i
Ian Mapp
Dec 17, 2012 Ian Mapp rated it it was ok
Shelves: crime
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Luca Lesi
Two way split è il titolo originale di questo romanzo tartan noir di Allan Guthrie, titolo che rende maggior ragione di uno dei personaggi chiave del libro , il pianista classico Robin Greaves, che le contorte strade della vita hanno reso rapinatore di banche e psicopatico affetto , appunto, da sdoppiamento della personalità.
Le vicende si svolgono nell'arco di due giorni in una grigia e invernale Edimburgo, ben lontana dai ricordi festivalieri e divertiti che possano averne degli "allora" giovan
Filippo Bossolino
Storia interessante. 2 protagonisti principali: Robin, un ex studente di pianoforte, che una volta interrotti gli studi causa problemi alle mani diventa rapinatore di banche, insieme alla compagna e all'amante di lui; e Pearce ragazzone un po' imbranato appena uscito di galera dopo 10 anni per avver ucciso lo spacciatore che ha provocato la morte della sorella.
Le storie dei due si intrecciano in quanto in una rapina alle poste Robin uccide per errore la madre di Pearce (cassiera dell'agenzia). S
Bill Breckenridge
Apr 23, 2012 Bill Breckenridge rated it really liked it
I wanted to read this book for a number of reasons; the Edinburgh setting, some Scottish grittiness and a good crime read. It did deliver reasonably well on all three dimensions. What I liked most about the book is the brisk pace, the story moves along well and keeps the reader engaged it certainly engaged me, from beginning to end. The grittiness that I was looking for was there, it's part of a wider research thing I'm doing for my own writing, and I thought it was done in reasonable measure wi ...more
Darren Sant
Nov 03, 2014 Darren Sant rated it it was amazing
There’s a good reason this novel won the 2007 Old Peculier Crime Novel of the year award. The reason being that it has everything. You have Robin Greaves a man who believes his wife has been cheating on him and hires a PI to confirm it. The interaction between the PI and his assistant Kennedy adds a lot of humour into the novel. There is Pearce the ex-con who dotes on his mother forced to work as a debt collector to pay off his own debt. Guthrie adds a large dash of mental illness, a heavy dose ...more
Daniel Sevitt
Jan 06, 2016 Daniel Sevitt rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Continuing my foray into non-Rebus Tartan noir. This started down a path that seemed predictable enough but then it went completely batshit bonkers. Violent, unhinged and kinda compelling. Certainly surprising but I'm not sure I'd read another of these.
jhonny G
Jan 23, 2016 jhonny G rated it did not like it
Ok I made this rule that if a book belongs to regular crime genre I will read it only if it's less than 300 pages in length because most of the popular books are heavily padded these days. Lets say if a book is 500 pages long, only 200 pages of them is the real content and the rest is padding. You can imagine my reaction when I came across this book. A 200 pages long crime noir, wow. But guess what??
This book was 10 pages of muscle content and 190 pages of unnecessary baby fat. There are 2 pages
Oct 12, 2014 Farhan rated it liked it
An okay debut novel. The author shows some promise. The story was not exactly riveting but it kept moving. Not bad for a first novel.
Peter Carroll
Mar 27, 2012 Peter Carroll rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was a very enjoyable read from a fellow Scottish author.

Set in Edinburgh it starts off as a heist story but ends up developing into more of a psychological thriller as it progresses.

As a former inhabitant of Edinburgh, I enjoyed the setting and the plot is nicely crafted - keeping you doubting whether you've guessed what's going on or not. I sort of did, but as with all good twists it was sufficiently hidden to prevent me hitting it too early or with 100% conviction.

Definitely worth read
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Ray Fisher
Jul 08, 2014 Ray Fisher rated it it was amazing
Good, action packed, dramatic, gritty. My sort of book.
Julian King
Jul 11, 2013 Julian King rated it liked it
In this short novel, Guthrie briskly and entertainingly takes us inside the head of a small-time villain going through a breakdown before, during and after a Post Office robbery. He's his own worst enemy - literally, which is in turns amusing, disturbing, tasteless and horrifying. I'm not qualified to comment on the authenticity of the condition or its representation here, but realistic or not, it certainly comes to life over the course of a story I'll remember for a long time, though not one I' ...more
Aug 31, 2012 Ritchie rated it it was ok
Shelves: crime, scottish, fiction
Disappointing, why set a book in Edinburgh and don't actually use the city as a proper setting?

An armed robbery goes wrong leading to the death of a Post Office employee, this leads to internal squabbles, being chased by P.I's and an ex-con.

The book feels rushed, i didn't feel the characters were anymore than a name on a page, there was no real description of anyone except Pearce, who didn't wear a jacket...ok...
Mar 09, 2011 Caressa rated it did not like it
Shelves: couldn-t-finish
Now I love me a bit of ultra-violence here and there; I'm convinced I was a mercenary in another life. It was not the violence of Split, but the crude sexual talk and nasty graphic acts that turned my stomach. After the third time I gagged on my nachos, I tossed this book to the floor. I may crave a little head crackin', nose bustin' action, but sadistic eroticism just ain't my thing.
Roger Neilson
Aug 10, 2013 Roger Neilson rated it did not like it
Almost gave up on this after first 50 pages - very confusing narrative structure. Got a little easier but in the end a rather nasty book which I would not recommend. A clever idea I suppose, but not a pleasure to read at all. Violent, and somewhat exploitative.
Kurt Criscione
Sep 19, 2011 Kurt Criscione rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: crime-cop-noir
Pretty twisted and convaluted... it does have the one thing that usually irks me about reading Crime novels... a sudden end with no closure... well a little bit of closure. Lookig forward to more reads from Guthrie this was my first time reading him.
Jordan McPeek
Mar 23, 2011 Jordan McPeek rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: crime, box-6
Liked it, but didn't completely grab me. Didn't quite buy into Pearce's connection with Ailsa, found the split personality section a bit too bizarre. Yet, enjoyed the unfolding action, not knowing where it's going and who to cheer for, the grittiness.
Dec 05, 2011 Leslie rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
It was an ok read. Took me a quite a long way into the book to be bothered to work out which character was Pearce and which one Greaves. The split personality part was done pretty well. Its a dark and gritty story, no doubt about it!
Jim M
Feb 20, 2015 Jim M rated it liked it
Shelves: crime-gang
A crook plans revenge when his wife sleeps with a member of his gang before they fail a planned robbery meaning they have to go on the run and into hiding from cops and killers.
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