British paperback writer Kinnings debuts here with the story of a London showbiz fixer, image consultant, and personal management guru.
Aside from being little, ugly, fat and misshapen, Tobe Darling has problems. His housemate, the brilliantly rude, brusque magazine editor Scarlet Hunter, has left him, and now he buys jeans and underwear off the Net and by the ton rather than do laundry. Scarlet’s a sadist who for eight years—before she moves out—beats, blackens, punches, and splits Tobe, who finds himself a willing victim. Nowadays, his secretary Sadie slips a hand into his pants for a painfully hard crunch on his balls each time he leaves the office—but this really isn’t enough. Meanwhile, Tobe’s spellbound by the Piper, a horribly chop-happy serial killer of Americans in London, a guy who really needs a personal manager if he’s to make it big like Jack the Ripper. On The Church of Q & A television show, Tobe, defending the killer, gets his nose broken on camera by a fellow contestant whose sister was murdered by an uncaught serial killer. What’s more, Scarlet is seeing Hugo Blain, Tobe’s ghastly childhood nemesis. When Tobe’s office partner Bill sees only good things coming from the publicity rising from this fracas, Tobe splits up their partnership. The Piper phones Tobe and wants him as his personal manager. Tobe doesn’t believe it and says he must kill Hugo Blain to verify his credentials. And indeed Piper does. So Tobe works up a seven-stage plan for Piper, who had thought to kill him but takes him on as his media manager instead. As it happens, Piper has videotaped all his murders and dismemberments. So Tobe is far ahead when he cuts a movie deal for the greatest serial killer film ever, then meets the killer himself, tells him that to be a megastar he must rise above genre, be a spree killer, mass murderer, terrorist.
Grisly blood bubbles, not an absolutely must-read.