Tag Archives: Alan Moore

Tuesday Falling – S Williams

Tuesday FallingTuesday Falling is one of those books that reminds you of lots of other stuff, but manages to be totally its own thing.

The blurb is going underground:

You’ve never met anyone like Tuesday. She has suffered extreme cruelty at the hands of men, and so has taken it upon herself to seek vengeance. She wants to protect and help others like her, to ease their suffering. A force to be reckoned with, she lives beneath the streets of London in the hidden network of forgotten tunnels that honeycomb the city – and this is her preferred hunting ground.

When Tuesday is connected to a series of brutal attacks on gang members, DI Loss takes on the investigation. A burned-out detective still suffering the devastating effects of the unsolved murder of his daughter three years earlier, the case starts to hit close to home. Because soon Loss will discover that Tuesday could hold the key to uncovering the truth about what happened to his daughter…

There’s a powerful cartoon energy to Tuesday Falling. If you like your thrillers grounded in reality, then it’s not going to be for you. It has a quirky cinematic panache to it, and it plays out as on a widescreen with carnage, explosions and techno-gear, and lost tunnels beneath the city and civil disobedience — the beginning of the book when Tuesday takes out some oiks on a tube train is a doozy — and at the heart of it is the kind of role any young actress would die for.

Tuesday herself is a devious amalgam of Lisbeth Salander, Alan Moore’s mysterious anarchistic revolutionary V and the Powerpuff Girls, with a little bit of Tank Girl thrown in. She’s a remorseless ExpendaBelle, and Williams has a lot of fun teasing her next ruthless move against the assorted scumbags and Big Bads who ruined her life.

As a character, Tuesday doesn’t develop as you’d like – she’s one of those remote clever clogs who knows everything there is about all sorts of high tech death-dealing weaponry and computer whatnots. Despite her horrific backstory, a bit more vulnerability would perhaps give us more of an emotional investment in Tuesday. But, instead, Wiiliams cleverly gives a character arc to the jaded DI Loss, an all too human cop, who finds he may have a startling connection to the vigilante.

There’s plenty of brutal violence — with a whole swathe of arrogant, testosterone driven yoofs getting their come-uppance in a myriad of unpleasant and gory ways, and the carnage stays, just about, on the right side of glib — and a ton of gleeful swearing, which is interesting because there’s a strong dystopian YA vibe to Tuesday’s feminist odyssey.

There’s a lot to like in Tuesday Falling. Williams has invented an iconic heroine for our times, and he has a very particular sense of his city, London — part Hitchockian chic, part kidulthood gang playground — and it’ll be fun to see what he does next with his singular and deadly protag.

Many thanks to Killer Reads for the review copy. I’m delighted to say that S Williams will be giving us the intel on his remarkable heroine Tuesday, next week.

TV Crime Log: Dreadful, Quirke

Penny DreadfulTen years ago, fans of Alan Moore’s comic book The League Of Extraordinary Gentlemen, which featured a host of iconic 19th Century genre characters – Hyde, Nemo, Mina Harker et al – foamed at the mouth at the prospect of the movie version. Sadly, that particular blockbuster proved something of a cinematic abomination – but the concept remains a good one.

The new series Penny Dreadful, which is on Sky Atlantic on Tuesday night at 9pm, takes another stab at the gothic monster mash-up. Victor Frankenstein’s rambunctious boy, Dorian Gray, Mina Harker and other public domain characters all pop up along the way.

Josh Hartness is in it, and Timothy Dalton – we like him – and Eva Green, we certainly like her – and it looks lavish and atmospheric. The writer is John Logan, a successful screenwriter who penned Skyfall and Hugo. Penny Dreadful – the title, of course, refers to the lurid Victorian magazines that peddled cheap and sensational thrills – runs for the next eight weeks, so it’ll be good fun to guess which horror icons make an appearance.

QuirkeThere’s a new crime drama on Sunday night which ticks all the right boxes. It’s got lots of hats because it’s set in the ‘50s, in this case Dublin – tick! The protag is a charismatic loner who likes a drink – tick! He’s got lots of dark secrets – tick! And he’s only got a surname – tickety-tick!

Quirke is about the chief pathologist in the city morgue and is based on the books of Benjamin Black, who’s the crime pseudonym of John Banville. It stars Gabriel Byrne. I’ll watch Byrne in anything – and he’s wearing a hat which makes me doubly-excited. He was, of course, in Miller’s Crossing, which was full of hats.

You’ll be wanting the blurb for the first episode, so you will:

Late autumn in Dublin 1956, and city pathologist Quirke stumbles in late one night from a party in the nurses’ quarters, with a view to sleeping off his hangover in his pathology lab.

To Quirke’s surprise, he finds obstetric consultant Malachy Griffin, his adoptive brother, at his desk completing some paperwork for a recently deceased patient named Christine Falls. Mal is not thrilled to see Quirke, a fact that troubles Quirke when he returns the next morning to find Christine’s body gone.

Consumed by curiosity over what Mal may have been up to, Quirke calls the body back from the morgue and performs a full post mortem. There is little love lost between Quirke and Mal, so Quirke is determined to call his brother to account, and as he closes in on Mal’s secret, he stirs up a hornets’ nest of trouble for himself.

As the trail turns darker and more violent Quirke’s investigations take him to Boston, and to the very heart of his complicated extended family. During his trip, Quirke uncovers the truth about a family secret that has remained buried for nearly 20 years, and begins to understand that there are some truths that may be better left unspoken.

Quirke will be looking unimpressed on BBC1 on Sunday night at 9pm.