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Kill Clock (English Edition) [Kindle Edition]

Allan Guthrie
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Gordon Pearce is a nice enough sort of guy. Just as long as you don't get on his wrong side.

One evening while he's taking his dog for a stroll, a double-crossing ex-girlfriend turns up out of the blue with a couple of scruffy toddlers and a tall tale involving loan sharks, death threats and something called a 'kill clock'. She begs Pearce for help. Claims he's her last resort. But he's convinced she's trying another one of her cons. Last time he saw her, she fleeced him good and proper, and he's not going to let that happen again.

But as the night goes on, doubts start to creep in. Problem is, Pearce can't afford to believe her. Because if she's telling the truth, he has until midnight to rustle up twenty grand in cash or he'll have another death on his conscience.

KILL CLOCK is a wild ride through the underbelly of Scotland's capital city by Allan Guthrie, the author of BYE BYE BABY, a Kindle Top 10 Bestseller.

This 2013 edition is a revised and expanded version of the original 2007 novella, published by Barrington Stoke.

Praise for KILL CLOCK

"The extended edition of his novella Kill Clock had me laughing out loud and reminded me that the author, often cited for his chilling noir, is not just good at coming up with funny lines, but is a craftsman of the comic." Detectives Beyond Borders

"a fine addition to any dark crime fan's library." Somebody Dies

Praise for Allan Guthrie's BYE BYE BABY

"A quick, taut thriller ... not a word is wasted." Ian Rankin

"A terrific read and a great premise from an excellent writer." Stuart MacBride

"The approach is so fresh that it makes the whole thing feel like the first time I've read a police story" Do Some Damage

"...a purely original, funny, sharp piece of writing. It has a plot that develops in an unorthodox, non-linear fashion--hardly resembling many of the police procedurals I've read. It's often noted that Guthrie is one of the top working mystery writers, and he certainly lives up to that reputation..." Death By Killing

"A story that moves quickly, in short chapters of crisp prose, with plenty of plot turns to hold the attention, and characters you can love and others you can hate... Like Guthrie's full-length novels, Bye Bye Baby is sly, noir as all hell (more noir than some, actually), and it just might bring a tear of pity to your eyes. It's a police procedural filled with incident and back story, and man, what an ending." Detectives Beyond Borders

"...a dark, clever, funny and sad story which races along to reach a smart conclusion. A tough and lovely slice of the hard side of life." You Would Say That, Wouldn't You?

About the author:

Allan Guthrie is an award-winning Scottish crime writer. His debut novel, TWO-WAY SPLIT, was shortlisted for the CWA Debut Dagger award and went on to win the Theakston's Crime Novel Of The Year. He is the author of four other novels: KISS HER GOODBYE (nominated for an Edgar), BAD MEN (aka HARD MAN), SAVAGE NIGHT and SLAMMER and three novellas: KILL CLOCK , KILLING MUM and BYE BYE BABY, a Top Ten Kindle Bestseller. He's also co-founder of digital publishing company, Blasted Heath, and a literary agent with Jenny Brown Associates.


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5.0 von 5 Sternen A chunk of darkest stuff. Brilliant. 12. September 2011
Actually I'm doing something quite uncomplicated - write a review to tell that I think KILL CLOCK is a terrific novella. I'm not a fan of its author; I just happen to like the trim, well-written stuff he comes up with, and would rather read an unwritten story by Allan Guthrie than a published novel with 500+ pages by many other crime fiction writers. Why?

As a reader, you get pulled into Guthrie's stories like a summer person into a sudden snow scene: sorry, no gloves. After a bit, you want out. Seriously. But then this is not stupid daytime TV, where you can just switch to a sunny stretch. This is prose that prefers to be exposed, that challenges the cold - and in doing so makes numb readers' skeletons rattle with something way beyond chill.

Characters are battered, emotions are raw, and rawness is what makes the tag NOIR get to you here. KILL CLOCK features Gordon Pearce, a character Guthrie kicked into a muddy stream of events in his debut novel, TWO-WAY SPLIT. (It pays off big time to read that one. Trust me. The whole thing about becoming a fan is fake, you just get hooked instead and that's that).

Pearce is that kind of guy who most of the time remembers that being halfway nice is OK, and not an uncontrollable annoyance like some nervous tic. He went through much crap and has placed hard times behind him, just in order to embrace with stoic demeanor some new trouble.

Pace is Guthries forte. Hours, minutes, seconds seem to move back and forth and bounce. Time is nasty, and so present in this tight prose that it appears to belong to the cast like a fully developed character.

KILL CLOCK is fast, but doesn't plot too far ahead.
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Die hilfreichsten Kundenrezensionen auf (beta) 4.0 von 5 Sternen  28 Rezensionen
9 von 10 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
5.0 von 5 Sternen Fast and furious 27. Januar 2008
Von Craig Clarke - Veröffentlicht auf
I started my copy of Kill Clock the morning after I received it in the mail and read it from cover to cover in 45 minutes! This is one hot little Scotch bonnet of a novella: short, sharp, and shocking. (Though maybe not as shocking as that scene in Hard Man.)

All of Guthrie's great attributes are on full display here, with none of the drawbacks that made Hard Man a disappointment for me. (Yeah, Pearce is still pretty dumb sometimes, but he's smart in all the right ways.)

Gordon Pearce (from Hard Man and Two-Way Split) is back once again. Kill Clock takes place a few years after the events in Hard Man, with Pearce out for the evening with his three-legged dog, Hilda. It looks like another case of "teach a prick a lesson" and then head home, but his ex-girlfriend Julie shows up with her two kids and a sob story: she needs 20,000 by midnight or she's toast.

Kill Clock was written for "adult reluctant readers" (with a reading age of 8+) and the simplicity of the text is pure fire. At 150 pages of large text -- with no complex conversations or descriptive digressions -- keeping the story moving is the key here, and Guthrie follows through with a tight little tale that takes an old suspense plot and polishes it up bright and shiny. And yet there's room for Guthrie to insert little bits of insight on how some people change when you haven't seen them in a long time, and some people stay exactly the same. This extra spice wasn't necessary for Kill Clock to kick serious arse, but it boosts this little tale into a fine addition to any dark crime fan's library.
4 von 4 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
5.0 von 5 Sternen Deadlines, dark humor, and death ..... 14. Mai 2013
Von M Elliott "a reader from TX" - Veröffentlicht auf
Format:Kindle Edition|Verifizierter Kauf
While walking his dog Hilda, Pearce has an encounter with a bully that results in property damage. On his way home, he is surprised by his former fiancé who offers him a lift. Pearce has strong reasons to distrust Julie, who disappeared after accepting his expensive engagement ring, but he is afraid the police may be looking for him, so he--and Hilda--get in the car with Julie and her two toddlers. Julie needs Pearce's help; a loan shark has given her a specific time to repay twenty thousand pounds or she and her children will be killed. He has, she explains, given her a reason to believe he means it. Suspecting a scam, Pearce keeps telling himself he won't be sucked in again by her. But, before he knows it, he is up to his eyebrows in puke, a car he can barely drive, two tired and cranky children, and two of the toughest hard men--the Banks brothers-- in author Guthrie's oeuvre.

Allan Guthrie's novels are darkly humorous and often shockingly violent, and Kill Clock is no exception. Many of the characters that people these stories are evil personified. But others, like ex-con and occasional PI Gordon Pearce, are innately decent men who show us, through their treatment of the innocents of the world--dogs and children, old people, the maimed and helpless--that cruelty is as abhorrent to them as to us. Wounded in body and spirit by the death of his sister and his mother, Pearce now keeps himself to himself, caring only about Hilda, a male Dandie Dinmont three-legged terrier which he named for his mother. But sometimes he cannot help getting involved in matters he knows will turn out badly, as in Julie's case. His effort to save her, while protecting the children and Hilda, is terrible and wonderful-- suspenseful, absurd, shocking, and satisfying. And his interaction with Julie's children ---as well as the dialogue and behaviors of the children themselves--is, perhaps, the best part of Kill Clock.

Guthrie has created a great character in the engaging, reluctantly admirable, and somewhat mysterious Pearce, who made his debut in Two-Way Split. Tough, a little frightening, always dependable once he has committed, a man who loves his dog: that's Pearce in a nutshell. I look forward to Guthrie's next Pearce and Hilda outing. Meanwhile, I highly recommend Kill Clock. Read it and be glad.
4 von 4 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
5.0 von 5 Sternen Great novella form Guthrie 20. Januar 2013
Von McDroll - Veröffentlicht auf
Format:Kindle Edition
For fans of Allan Guthrie, Kill Clock is a very welcome tasty bite of his fiction, giving another insight into that rogue with a heart, Pearce, who has appeared several times in Guthrie's writing. Previously published, Kill Clock is now an extended version of the original.

Looking for the quiet life with his three-legged dog, Hilda, Pearce is once more dragged into a hopeless situation where he attempts to help a friend, very much against his better judgement.

Obviously Guthrie has chosen to ignore the old adage of never working with children or animals because both take centre stage in Kill Clock. Left in charge of two children after their mother is kidnapped, Pearce does his very best to cope despite their bawling and vomiting.

Representing the child's voice in a violent little tale as this is could be seen as fool-hardy but Guthrie pulls this off well, giving an authentic feel to the constant questioning and squabbling that children present. No goody-two-shoes kids here and the feeling of irritation and shear frustration felt by Pearce as he desperately tries to find someone to look after the kids comes across clearly.

Being Guthrie, there is plenty of violence and a few shocking moments, the presence of the children making this seem all the more shocking. If you've not read anything by Allan Guthrie before, then this may be a good place to start to ease yourself gently into a violent world of crime and revenge.
1 von 1 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
5.0 von 5 Sternen Make sure you read Two-Way Split first! 26. Mai 2008
Von Jeff - Veröffentlicht auf
Format:Taschenbuch|Verifizierter Kauf
Kill Clock is a short novella follow-on to Allan Guthrie's excellent debut novel, Two-Way Split. You have to read the prequel first, otherwise many of the setups will make little sense to you. Moreover, if you read in the reverse order, your enjoyment of the longer book will be ruined by several spoilers.

Kill Clock moves faster than Two Way Split. It's like those old merry go rounds we tried to jump on as kids: you'd better to be ready to get yanked and pulled right away! Heck, it moves faster than almost any book that in my last year of reading.

There's Guthrie's traditional hard people and hard violence. As usual, the local color is excellent and the dialog is razor sharp.

This book ended in a satisfactory manner for me (can't say some of it's characters would feel the same way), but it ended far sooner than I would have liked. I'm eager awaiting Guthrie's next work.
4.0 von 5 Sternen A Good Short Story That Has Inspired Me to Give the Author's Novels a Go 24. September 2011
Von James N Simpson - Veröffentlicht auf
I love the fact that publishers are now publishing short stories as cheap stand alone books. If you're familiar with the Quick Reads publications, Kill Clock is a similar length. You can easily read this book in under an hour. With Kill Clock, it's an hour that will fly by. The tale starts off brilliant, with an ahole driver picking the wrong victim to bully and abuse for walking his three legged dog on a footpath as the idiot reversed his car without looking. That victim is a badarse named Gordon Pearce, and he very satisfactorily for the reader gives this jerk his comeuppance. Pearce is apparently a reoccurring character from some previous novels, but I had no problem following this story without having read those. I will certainly be checking out Guthrie's back catalogue as Pearce is a very interesting character indeed. As his dog Hilda, who not only lives with the burden of missing a leg, but also a girl's name being he's male.

After dealing with the rude motorist, Julie, a woman Pearce fell for years ago he conned ripped him off then disappeared asks him to hop in her car. Knowing the cops may well have been called by the car driver, or those that just enjoyed watching what was done to him, Pearce decides even though he doesn't want a thing to do with the woman, it's probably best he gets a ride out of the area. She tells him in between abusing her two rude little brats in the backseat, that their father owed an underworld figure 20 000 pounds, couldn't pay it and was given the ultimatum to kill someone else. He failed and is now dead, and Julie inherited the debt and her own clock deadline, which has passed. She wants his help. Pearce of course assumes she's conning him but doubt enters his mind when she's abducted, he's shot at and he's left with the brats and the guy on her phone tells Pearce if he doesn't pay the debt by the deadline she's dead.

It's a great quick tale, but some readers may find Julie's swearing at her children in the car pages a bit uncomfortable reading.
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