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Book DetailsISBN: 9781925355147
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Book Review: Black Teeth by Zane Lovitt - Reviewed by CloggieA (01 Jun 2016)
Black Teeth is the second novel by Australian documentary filmmaker and award-winning author, Zane Lovitt. Jason Ginaff’s field of expertise is online information. He’s so good at it that he makes a living vetting prospective employees, finding those hidden, supposedly deleted, potentially damaging nuggets that employers need to know about. But when someone doesn’t have an online presence, it’s much more difficult.
Jason has had to use his most sophisticated software to track down the ex-cop with the nickname Polygraph, the man he’s fairly certain is his father. But it soon becomes clear that he’s not the only one who’s found this elusive chap, and Rudy Alamein, son of convicted killer Piers Alamein, has reasons that are much less benign.
From the first pages it becomes apparent that Lovitt has filled his thriller with deliciously black humour. His descriptive prose is highly evocative, easily establishing the feel of a Melbourne winter, a dusty dilapidated home, a run-down hospice, an ageing bachelor’s house, an unappealing lunch:”...I lower my eyes, face to face with the dry white bread and wet lettuce and canned ham that smells like play-doh. The least appetising meal I’ve seen in a while, and I’m a mid-twenties male who lives alone”.
His plot is clever and original, moves along at a decent clip, and has enough clues, twists and red herrings to keep the reader engrossed. His protagonist is multi-faceted and extremely resourceful when creating his diverse personas; many of the other characters are also not quite what they seem, at first, to be. The motive, if not the identity of the murderer, will be a surprise for even the most astute reader.
This page-turner manages to include missing pets, insurance policies, tattoos of black teeth, tripwires, a hidden, hand-written confession, an old green Volvo, a glass vase from Ikea, a fatal heart condition and some antique furniture. A sharp, darkly funny novel that will have readers seeking out more from this talented author.
Zane Lovitt was a documentary filmmaker before turning his hand to crime fiction. His debut novel, The Midnight Promise, won the Ned Kelly Award for Best First Fiction, and led to Zane being named one of the Best Young Novelists of 2013 by the Sydney Morning Herald. Zane Lovitt lives in Melbourne.
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