Night Train by Martin Amis - review by Philip Oakes

Philip Oakes

Bloody and For Real

Night Train


Jonathan Cape 160pp £10.99 order from our bookshop

The Night Train in Martin Amis's pocket thriller is suicide itself- 'speeding your way to darkness' – and the book begins with the death of golden girl Jennifer Rockwell, daughter of a top cop, discovered naked in her apartment with three bullet wounds to her head, a towels swathed like a turban about the wounds, and evidence of recent oral and vaginal sex to add to the scandal and mystery of her demise. The investigation is handed to Detective Mike Hamilton (female despite the name), self-described as 'a big blonde old broad', a recovering alcoholic whose convalescence began in the dead girl's home. She has, you'll gather, a personal interest in who done what and it's in her words that Amis tells the tale.

Some readers – or possibly publicists – appear to find this as sensational as a printout by little green men. But it's hard to see why. Amis is not noted for touting the feminist credo. But he's a writer, for God's sake, and a good one and 160 pages of

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