Saturday, February 23, 2013

Review: THE WRONG THING by Barry Graham

The Wrong ThingA violent balance of the renegade and romantic, THE WRONG THING merges two distinct traits and creates a central character that’s as deadly as he is endearing. For The Kid, a young man born more of myth than blood, bone and flesh, life hasn’t been easy. Undersized and undervalued, his home life brought nothing but pain and seclusion with crime a natural progression as part of his development. Subsequent incarceration ensures the family ties remain severed, while any foothold in the drug business is lost upon release back into the community. Here’s where the story gains momentum and things get a whole lot bloodier.

Barry Graham’s THE WRONG THING isn’t about a madman with a thirst for bloodletting, more so a young man who takes to violence as a means to an end. Knowing little by way of problem solving skills, any hurdles in his way succumb to brutality as bikies, police, and innocents feel the wrath of the urban badlands walking myth.

The Kid is much deeper than I had anticipated – he’s surprising well rounded, emotionally sound (if a killer can be) and in empathic towards the opposite sex, particularly when they’re in need of a saviour. He cooks, he loves, he kills. This simple yet highly effective premise serves Graham’s creation well. The basic need to love and care is balanced out by an easy violence that’s all too natural. I really enjoyed this black/white double sided take on what is a very interesting character.

I love noir that portrays a character in many forms and THE WRONG THING does that to perfection. The plot accompanies the character, the drive and progression of the story proceeds at the pace of the characters doing – everything else is peripheral. There is a hopelessness quality to THE WRONG THING that echoes long after the confronting ending concludes that resonates well for fans of the genre. Like the other titles I’ve read by Barry Graham, THE WRONG THING does not disappoint.

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