Andrew's Reviews > Night Train

Night Train by Martin Amis
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's review
May 10, 2010

liked it
Read from April 28 to May 10, 2010

Hmmm...I'm not sure what to make of Amis (having only read "Times Arrow" previously). This is his take on American hard-boiled crime fiction, with an American police 'heroine' with a very post-modern outlook. It's a clever book - some of the phrases and terminology make you work hard to enjoy them and satisfy when you do - but also it's a too clever book, too self-aware of itself, and ultimately just a bit smug for my liking. The plot concerns the apparant suicide of the police chief's daughter who apparently was perfect and had everything to live for. The protagonist female, saddled with a male name, Detective Mike Hoolihan ultimately discovers the truth - but it's a smudged truth: one which I certainly wasn't sure of or knew if I wanted to believe in. Basically, if you're going to write pastiche then do it with heart and that includes a smart ending. This ending was too smart, too clever, too deliberate, and knew it. Which is the final straw. Still, there's bags of stuff to enjoy here and I would read more by him. But I did want more, here.
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