James Ellroy meets Irvine Welsh in a brilliant debut novel of crime, drugs and urban violence.
C was for cars which he'd nicked and crashed, R was for robbery, armed and fast, A was for arson, fire and theft, Z was for the cuts his switchblade left, E was for drugs, the Whizz and Horse, which just left murder, the hardest, of course. She was found on the tracks: burned up, tongue cut out, a finger removed. Who was she? 24 hours earlier Shazia Ahmed was leaving Manchester, but a chance meeting and a phone call and she finds herself in the underworld where life is cheap and usually very short. Jamie Farrell already knows this truth: that the drugs and crime will tip over into murder. His father's in Strangeways and he'll be joining him. But he can't give up the deadly game that is The Craze. Dru Round thought his big day had come: no more cheap drag acts and furtive sex in the backs of cars. A new dawn of TV fame beckoned. But he just needed that extra score to make things work for him-Three lives - one crime - the Craze.
Paul Southern was a founder member of the indie group Sextus. He now teaches in Manchester while completing a PHD in English Literature at the university. This is his first novel.
It's scary, racy and gripping and tackles really important subjects,I read The Craze at a single sitting: fabulous piece of work. The racial overlaps are exactly right and there isn't a single character I didn't believe. The Craze culture feels likewise totally authentic.