Bound - Matt Hickman graphickman@yahoo.com, Andrew Lennon

Let me start by saying that I think Andrew Lennon has wonderful talent as a writer and author. His short story collections A Taste of Fear and Twisted Shorts where some of the best I have read this year and they showed great flair, vitality and excitement in a very overcrowded market/horror genre. It is therefore unfortunate that I found Bound not to my liking and indeed not to his usual high standards. I appreciate that many readers and bloggers differ in what they find  good and exciting but Bound for me lacked so much of what I found so appealing in his short story collections.

 

Frankly the story and the lead participant, DCI Mark Gunn, is too unbelievable to have  any real credibility and worth. Gunn not only flaunts all the rules of good detective work and modern policing but in addition he is a psychotic bully somewhere between Hannibal Lector and DCI Gene Hunt ( brilliantly played in the BBC drama Life on Mars by Philip Glenister) bigoted, chauvinistic and aggressive....."Sir, I need you to tell me what you know, now." Gunn spat "Get that f***ing thing out of my face, now, before I break your arm."....and this to a colleague in Gunn's team. Gunn is pursuing a killer around the streets of Manchester and the whole thing becomes very personal when two police officers are captured and tortured the events being relayed to Gunn in an attempt to flush him out and force him into a meeting, where the true intentions of the killer will be made known. 

 

Chris Daniels, a partner in a real estate company, is surveying old and decrepit properties hoping to buy cheap and renovate into luxury apartments. On one particular location a body is discovered and immediately without any real evidence Gunn is convinced he has his killer. He then proceeds to interrogate and torture an innocent man to presumably beat a confession out of him even going as far as closing down the CCTV in the interview room. There is I believe,  a reason why the author portrays Gunn in such a negative and aggressive way, it creates the basis for a good conclusion but Gunn's attitude and approach to his responsible job is simply too unbelievable to hold any real credence or belief. As a relatively short story this did not work, it was erratic and seemed to lack any real sense or direction. The action was certainly fast and furious but police officers running around blindly and assaulting possible suspects without reason or evidence is not what good storytelling should be about!

 

I end this review where I started, Andrew Lennon is a great author but not on this particular occasion and in this particular story.