If I had to name my favourite two genres, then they would be hard-boiled crime and dystopias. As a writer, I wouldn’t have initially thought of blending the two together. However, that is just what Alec Cizak does in Manifesto Destination, and boy does he do it well.
Elmore Johnson is a classic hard-drinking PI who’s a sucker for the dames, but also, like any good PI character, he’s got an inherent sense of justice, and that’s what he goes looking for. I won’t give any spoilers here, but Cizak’s weaving of a tale of corporate conspiracies and social control combined with the PI quest is beautifully executed. Throwing in corrupt cops and a healthy dose of the porn industry really propels us into classic hard-boiled and noir territory. And the whole corporate nightmare scenario doesn’t take very much of a leap of imagination whatsoever – like all the best dystopias, it’s not too far in the future and it’s entirely believable, as scary as it is. As I’ve come to expect from Cizak (I’m now a rusted-on fan, I’m very happy to admit!), his prose is wonderful and there are some delicious lines that have been copied into my quote books. Try the following as a sample. The PI: “When I was bored, which tended to coincide with the lack of a bottle…”. The dames: “The illusion I allowed myself in Amber’s arms the night before worked like morphine on the soul”, and “Her voice dripped through my ears like honey and molasses eased over warm flapjacks in the middle of winter”. And society: “I couldn’t help but wonder if life might have been a little bit better before corporations decided they had a right to run the whole goddamn world.”
I really love Cizak’s work, and I’m looking forward to getting his latest release which is due out anytime soon. I’ve previously reviewed one of his other novels and a collection of his short stories, so you can see them in my blog archive. He’s also the editor of the superb Pulp Modern magazine anthology.
If you love your crime hard and gritty and dark, read Mr Cizak!
Bringing you hard-boiled and noir tales of crime and corruption. And various related opinions!