Mark Lawrence's Reviews > The Straight Razor Cure

The Straight Razor Cure by Daniel Polansky
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it was amazing

So - I was coming back on the train from my only day out in 8 years (I'd been to hook up with Peter Brett & Myke Cole in London) - a day out on which it must be said my daughter Celyn was hurried back to hospital, so ... I might have to wait another 8 years for the next - and Marc Aplin of fantasy-faction.com said 'Here, read this.' Or something to that effect, and slid a copy of The Straight Razor Cure across the table to me (the title and cover are infinitely better in the UK).

That was August. I started it just before Christmas and I've just finished it - which believe it or not is fast for me! To be honest I only started it because the book I was reading was upstairs and I was downstairs and if I tried to leave the room to get it Celyn would have woken up ... but this one was within arms' reach. I was quickly hooked. The intelligence and wit of the prose did the job within a few paragraphs.

Anyhow. It is as every review says 'a detective thriller in a noir fantasy setting'.



I found the writing to be exceptionally good. Very suited to my taste and very similar in style to what I aim for with my own. It has to be said that one of the most popular 2* reviews on this site is from a guy who loved my books and really didn't like Polansky's style. So opinions on that one are mixed!

Anyhow, the writing is concise, moody, witty, and captures what it sets after.

I liked reading about the main character. He's getting old, has bad habits, deals drugs, isn't the best at anything, but is dangerous and clever. I enjoyed the twists and turns of the plot. Several important items I guessed early on - perhaps they were telegraphed a little too strongly, perhaps I was just in tune with the story. Don't know.

I enjoyed the world-building. The society did borrow from some real world stereotypes maybe, but it's not a doorstop of a book and this form of shorthand is efficient in getting the reader's imagination to do some of the heavy lifting.

It wasn't a book that exercised me emotionally to a large degree - it wasn't without emotional content, but I wasn't hugely engaged on that level. Mostly I just wanted to have the crime solved!

Either way, it was a book that kept me coming back and rewarded my time by thoroughly entertaining me.

Give it a try!


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Reading Progress

Finished Reading
January 15, 2013 – Shelved

Comments Showing 1-30 of 30 (30 new)

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Brandon Zarzyczny I loved this book, but I had to actually import the sequel from the UK as apparently the US publisher dropped him.


Mark Lawrence Did not know that - I'd say it was their fault for hitting him up with such a crappy title and cover!


message 3: by Robin (new)

Robin Carter Ok mark will give it a bash


Mark Lawrence Robin wrote: "Ok mark will give it a bash"

Let me know what you thought.


Kyle Clark I really really need to import book 2....have no idea why this book was droped in the US


Doug I really hope "Tomorrow the Killing" immigrates to the US someday soon. I'm not above importing the UK version, but I'd rather have the ebook--without having to jump though geo-restrictive hoops to do so.

I definitely blame the US publisher's "treatment" of this first book in the series for its lack of popularity.

It deserves a much larger audience.


Ross I have to agree with the folks above. I loved the first one, but could not find the sequel anywhere in the states. I have no clue why they dropped him! Might have to order this one from across the pond.


Mark Lawrence I'm reading the sequel "Tomorrow, the Killing" at the moment. Halfway through & I'm liking it even more than the first book. It's criminal that the US publishers dropped this. Polansky is definitely one of the best fantasy writers out there, albeit that he's very low on fantasy.


message 9: by Mia (new) - rated it 4 stars

Mia I didn't know his US publisher dropped him. Would have to get my friend to bring me a copy next time she visits.


message 10: by Lisa (new) - rated it 5 stars

Lisa Maddams Well I decided to give this a bash on Mark's review. Must say i read it a bit faster than Mark. Picked it up and was totally hooked. Didn't put it down until finished. Now have an impatient week of waiting until the sequel arrives....


Jason It's rather annoying, I thoroughly enjoyed his first book, I was able to get it on my Kindle. Been on the look out for the second one to come on there, but not sure if it ever will if his US publisher dropped it. don't know if he is able to publish it himself due to copyright laws and all that.


Dusty Wallace Mark was totally right on this one. Awesome book.


message 13: by Owen (new) - rated it 5 stars

Owen Rodden Loved the entire series. Read them twice


Dustin Just finished the Low Town Trilogy and Daniel Polansky just became one of my favorite authors.


Mark Lawrence Dustin wrote: "Just finished the Low Town Trilogy and Daniel Polansky just became one of my favorite authors."

Consider rating his books then - it just takes a click and makes a difference.


Janne Just got this in the mail :)


message 17: by Tom (new)

Tom Thanks for this review mark, I'm a fan of yours and liked the look of this so great to see you help me decide .


David Just found a Low town short story on Kindle. Need to start that soon.


Craig Ryder O gosh, I love M. Lawrence's work, it is like dark poetry in prose.. as is Daniel Polansky .. both authors picked up and read them all. then .. spoiled for other lesser material..


message 20: by Pat (new) - rated it 5 stars

Pat Thanks Mark - I love your reviews and often follow your recommendations. I've just finished it and am about to go buy the next book. Like you I guessed important items fairly early on, but it didn't spoil anything for me at all, being fairly easy to believe I was wrong about said things. Now to go buy book 2!


Caleb Low Town was really good, but the next two books are infinitely better. That trilogy is fantastic.


Marcelo Silva Well, unfortunatelly I didn't like só much. I picked this up because your review, but as his book The Builders arrived early, I've read it before; and really liked. But I thought The Straight Razor Cure too predictable for my taste and too many clichês...


Caleb Marcelo wrote: "Well, unfortunatelly I didn't like só much. I picked this up because your review, but as his book The Builders arrived early, I've read it before; and really liked. But I thought The Straight Razor..."

I actually had the same issues with the first book as well. The next 2 are far better then the first one, I would recommend them.


message 24: by Fernando (new) - added it

Fernando DP is a really engaging writer. Enjoyed the Builders a lot. Will check this too.


Agnes Conway Read the Low Town books and enjoyed them. I like fantasy, but The Builders was a bridge too far, couldn't get over the whimsy.


Agnes Conway Oops - just looked at my ratings for the Low Town books and they run 4 stars, 3 stars, 2 stars :(


message 27: by ☆Lily☆ (new)

☆Lily☆ W hats the British title of the book?


Mark Lawrence Bee wrote: "W hats the British title of the book?"

The Straight Razor Cure


message 29: by Mr (new)

Mr Squaggly great review, Mark!


message 30: by Mary (last edited Jun 04, 2019 08:17AM) (new) - added it

Mary S. R. Mark, I have a request: please don't compare books to your own work, it's unfair—I will not be able to resist the urge to hit that stupid green button *sighs*


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