The title of this novel doesn’t give much away, other than it might be related to the police and crime. But it turns out Travis is a journalist, who spends a lot of time at concerts and getting the living daylights beaten out of him.
The opening shows Travis recovering from yet another beating, although he hasn’t had one in a while, and he is grateful for this punch up as he was starting to feel forgotten. We learn very early on that he is quite a paranoid individual, after years of beating at gigs, he keeps his back firmly against the wall (sometimes literally!)
Will Ashon’s writing style is extremely direct, as you can see he is trying very hard not to stray from the points he is trying to make within the story. I also that enjoyed he managed to work in a relationship into a short story, albeit not a healthy one. He’s divorced and there’s a child thrown into this slightly volatile mix. We learn that Theo/Travis’ son can’t even say daddy, as he’s away a lot and only sees his son on weekends. I enjoyed the fact that the dialogue was straight to the point, with no meandering. Especially between Travis and Chris who are room-mates. Given that the story is so short this is a bonus, as it allows the reader to dive straight in.
As Travis is waiting for his next gig to start, we start to feel as though his life isn’t enough for him, he wants more, but we don’t know what he wants more of. And then he hits us with a bombshell, Travis becomes a sort-of shoulder to cry on from a girl named Jenny, who he almost gets beaten up by at The Fall concert.
Only a short time after meeting they being discussing their ex’s over a cigarette, and we learn that Jenny’s ex left her after their daughter died.
“Our little girl. Maisy. She was only tiny. She was really premature, really early and they, well, they couldn’t, she didn’t, she didn’t make it through.”
This line honestly broke my heart as I know people, personally, who have gone through the same thing, and it doesn’t matter how much time passes the pain will always remain, especially for the mother.
The ending paragraph is amazing. We see there is a slight connection between Travis and Jenny, and it’s a kind of a ‘will they? Won’t they?’ situation. However, we also see he is very disconnected from people, and he doesn’t empathize with her as a normal person would. It makes me wonder if he has some kind of mental disorder, or whether his past has left him like this. I can’t wait to read more by Will Ashon.
Working in collaboration with Jodie Loves Books