Well, lookie there, if he lets go of all the infantile shock-effects, Stokoe is capable of writing some serious noir.Empty Mile
is a much more mature book than [b:Cows|815760|Cows|Matthew Stokoe|https://d.gr-assets.com/books/1223635389s/815760.jpg|801682]. If COWS is the toddler who just mastered his potty training and now proudly presents his poo, Empty Mile
is the angsty teenager dreaming of big business while drowning in shame and guilt.
Unfortunately, Empty Mile
is also incredibly boring.
It's not completely deprived of depravity, and it all comes down to a nasty end. But till then Stokoe has lulled the reader effectively in the pettiness of life dealing its bad cards; so effectively, in fact, that I couldn't care less about what the protagonists did or what happened to them.
It would have helped if his loser characters had had a bit more personality and spine than a dead amoeba. It would have helped even more if the events had been at least a bit more likely. It would have helped immensely
if there had been a bit more show to all the tell.
As it is - an I never thought I'll say this - I prefer toddlers to teenagers.