Review: Fuckin’ Lie Down Already by Tom Piccirilli

As the story begins, Clay, a New York detective, is pretty close to the end. His family have been murdered and he has been gut shot and left for dead by a junkie hitman hired by a mob boss who Clay was investigating. The problem for the junkie and the mob boss is that they didn’t finish the job. Despite the fact that his entire digestive system seems to be coming out through the holes in his abdomen, Clay packs the corpses of his wife and son in the family car and sets off on a journey of no return to get revenge on the men who’ve crossed him.

That synopsis pretty much sums up the entirety of Piccirilli’s tight, lean and gruelling revenge novella, which discards most of the set-up that would usually be put in place in the usual run-of-the-mill revenge tale and turns it into back story. As a consequence, what it lacks in characterisation it more than makes up for in velocity and ferocity, speeding along like an out-of-control express train. It’s a visceral tale, for sure – Piccirilli paints a grim picture of what is happening to the protagonist’s innards – but so cleanly and clearly executed that even the most squeamish readers will be riveted to their seats. It is superbly written and comes highly recommended.

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