A Good Day to Die is Kernick‘s fourth book, and it brings back the anti-hero of the first, disgraced ex-copper Dennis Milne.
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Kernick’s books are a real strange mix, and I haven’t come across anything quite like them before. On one level, they are pretty standard thrillers, written with plot and pace in mind and conciously without any kind of literary embellishments.
But there are two things which set these apart from other books in the genre. Firstly, a rich vein of black humour runs throughout the book, and the numerous sarcastic asides do raise a smile on the face of the reader; which is all the more surprising given the second standout feature of Kernick’s work which is the sheer grimness of the subject matter. It really is heard to imagine a light-hearted romp involving murderous paedophile gangs, but that really is what this book is (kind of). So you have this real contradiction between style and content, but somehow it just works. I breezed through it in the space of a few hours reading time, I would say, and it’s a clear improvement on the earlier books and a good, no-nonsense read.