Martin Rudrum likes cocaine, routine, and crossword puzzles. What he doesn’t like is his friends—not even Isobel Walker, the ex-girlfriend who threw him over for tanned, toned TV producer Michael Ford’so after a particularly frazzling dinner party that ends with a wine stain on his carpet and a glass of port emptied onto one of his potted plants, he decides to kill six of them. Trudi Jordan, the masseuse he hardly knows (flamingly gay Alex Fenton brought her to dinner as the latest of his inexplicable female companions), will go first, baked to death in a sunbed at an after-hours assignation at her gym. Then Martin shifts his attention to Michael, resolving, quite without success, to murder him in a more distinctive and interesting way. Readers who go the distance with this British version of American Psycho will be vicariously refreshed with gallons of top-drawer liquor and dozens of lines of coke (at one point, Martin, features editor for a weekly arts magazine, lucks into an all-expense-paid American junket that keeps him in high style until the ugly climax), informed by numerous flashbacks to the youth of Martin as a sociopath-in-training, and regaled with several obligatory surprises. At no point, however, will their expectations about the success of Martin’s enterprise be seriously perturbed. A grisly, sometimes nauseating debut, but, despite the title, never exactly audacious.